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Police is the agency of a community or government that is responsible for maintaining public order, preventing and detecting crime. The basic police mission of preserving order by enforcing rules of conduct or laws- was the same in ancient societies as it is in sophisticated urban environments. The conception of police as a protective and law enforcement organization developed from the use of military bodies as guardians of peace such as Praetorian Guard of ancient Rome. During the middle ages, policing authority, particularly in England, was the responsibility of local nobles on their individual estates. Each noble generally appointed an official, known as a constable, to carry out the law. Their duties include keeping the peace, arresting and guarding criminals.
Police origin is product of social crisis in the society. In Nigeria the development of the police force was a tangential direction to that of British Force. British trade interest and the need to prevent squabbles between the native chiefs and the imperial merchants were the impetus for the formation of the force. Consequently, the police grew up as a paramilitary force bearing arms from its inception. The Consular Guards established in
Lagos consisting of about 30 men were armed. In 1863, these Guards matured into the Hausa Police and by 1876, the latter developed into Hausa constabulary. It was armed and consisted of a Commissioner, two Assistant Commissioners, A Superintendent, an Assistant Superintendent, a Pay and Quartermaster, A Master Tailor and 250 other ranks. S. G. Ehindero (1998).
The Nigerian police began with thirty member consular guard formed in Lagos Colony in 1961. In 1876 a 1,200-member armed paramilitary Hausa constabulary was formed. In 1896 the Lagos Police was established. A similar force Niger Coast constabulary was formed in Calabar 1894 under the newly proclaimed Niger Coast Protectorate. In the north the Royal Niger company set up the royal Niger company constabulary in 1888 with headquarters at Lokoja. When the Nortern and Southern Nigeria were proclaimed in the early 1990s, part of the Royal Niger Company Constabulary became the Northern Nigeria Police, and part of the Niger Coast Constabulary became the Southern Nigerian Police. Northern and Southern Nigeria were amalgamated in 1914, but their police forces were not merged until 1930, forming the Nigerian Police Force, headquarters in Lagos. The Nigerian Police Force performed conventional functions and was responsible for internal security generally; for supporting the prison, immigration, and
customs services; and for performing military duties within or outside Nigeria as directed. The Nigerian Police is designated by section 164 of 1979 constitution as the national police of Nigeria with exclusive jurisdiction throughout the country. The Nigerian Police Force maintains three-tire administrative structures of departments, zonal, and state commands. Three major Governmental Agencies oversee the control and supervision of the Police; The Nigerian Police Council, the Police Service Commission and The ministry of Police Affairs.
The Nigerian Police Force operating budget 1984 to 1988 remained in the N380 million range, and in 1988 increased to N521 million. More notable were large capital expenditure infusions of N206 million in 1986 and N260.3 million in 1988, representing 3.5 and 2.5 percent of total federal capital expenditure in those years. These increase were used to acquire new communications equipment, transport, and weapons to combat the rising crime wave. Nigerian Police Force study in 1990 concluded that the force’s budget must double to meet its need.
Security, major preoccupation of the police, is the state or feeling of being safe and protected. Hence security becomes very important in any social setting. Yet, it is a fact that maintaining order becomes essential and challenging in democratic states. Since the
return of democracy in 1999, the security situation in Nigeria has been quit disturbing, and in the past fifteen years things have been worsening on daily basis. Like any other human society, conventional crimes have been part of the experience. Being the specialized force responsible for maintaining order and ensuring security, the police play a major role as they keep watch of what goes on within the country.
Election, an activity that witness some level of insecurity, is a procedure that allows members of an organization or community to choose representatives who will hold positions of authority within it. The most important elections select the leaders of local, state, and national governments. The chance to decide who will govern at these levels serves as an opportunity for the public to make choices about policies, programs and feature direction of government action. The threat of defeat at the polls often exert pressure on those in power to conduct themselves in a responsible manner and take account of popular interest and wishes when they make their decisions. Elections are very important and serious events in a democratic state, where people get to choose their political leaders. But in a diverse country like Nigeria with different tribes and other pluralities, it becomes challenging to freely produce holders of various political offices. Since the return to civilian rule in 1999 until 2015 the country has been ruled by
the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which rule had generated mixed feelings. For several years under the PDP watch, and the country has faced ineffective and inefficient administration, with security becoming the most disturbing issue especially in the northern part of the country. Indeed, the challenges of security had led to the postponement of the election that was supposed to take place on the 14th of February 2015 to 28th of March 2015, a decision that angered the people. Election over time has generated the fear of election manipulation by the ruling party, as rigging is a significant element of election in Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of problem
The Nigerian Police Force experienced endemic problems recruiting training, inefficiency, indiscipline and it lacked expertise in specialized fields. Corruption and dishonesty were widespread, engendering a low level of public confidence, failure to report crimes, prevent and detect crime, investigation and tendencies to resort to self-help.
The Nigerian Police Force today is far different from the past Police Force that was known some decades ago. The past Nigerian Police Force has the history of nobility, service to humanity and sacrifice. It is saddening that in recent years, the Nigerian
Police Force has become bastion of inefficiency, illegality and institutional decadence. It has moved from being one of the pillars of grace and service to a cathedral debauchery. For more than a century now the police corruption has touched more facets of our daily lives, as there are more deficit and structural ethics in Nigerian Police Force. The Police Force has been waging war against itself, and no police force can wage war against itself and expect to perform and disgorge its duties effectively and efficiently. When there is indictment in the law enforcement system and agencies, how can the illness of a country be healed, taken away and cured.
It is awful to know that no matter what the Nigerian Police Force does, the vast majority of Nigerian populace will always regard as members and groups that are corrupt. The populace will always refer them as people that loaf around most of the time and lazy people. Moreover, it is unfortunate that of all the arms of security services, the police have become the butt of vengeance. The armed hooligans i.e. armed robbers in Nigeria have better and great incentives than the police. Is there any wonder that armed robbers typically outman, outgun, and outgun the police if the general public does not respect for the police, how would the criminals desist from crime act The Police Force in Nigeria are master minds of criminal act by colliding with criminals and serving as their
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