The police is one very strategic outfit whose core responsibility borders on the primary purpose of government – the securing of lives and property. That the police is saddled with this all-important task in peace times means it must go the extra mile during times of crises such as Nigeria is currently faced with.

Sadly, the Nigerian police which generally has a reputation for corruption and inefficiency, has been found more and more wanting, in the wake of the many security challenges that have befallen the country in recent years. Indeed, it was due to the need to reform Nigeria’s police for greater effectiveness that late President Umaru Yar’Adua created the Yusuf committee in 2008. That committee did its job and submitted its recommendations. For some sinister reasons, those recommendations were never implemented. Then came the unleashing of carnage by the terrorist sect, Boko Haram, and the manifest ineptitude of the police to contain the resulting insecurity to the extent where its Abuja headquarters became a casualty of the same. Jonathan then created yet another committee to reform (reorganise) the police.

Upon presenting his committee’s report to Jonathan on August 14, 2012, committee chairman and current head of the Police Service Commission, Parry Osayande, himself a retired Deputy Inspector-General of Police, highlighted its contents which comprised of two major recommendations, inter alia, – the scrapping of the Police Ministry, whose role the committee considered inimical to the proper funding of the institution and the need to improve the pay of police officers including that of the IGP whom it noted is ‘wrongly’ underpaid when compared to his counterparts in sister agencies with much less responsibilities.

Indeed, the Osayande committee recommendations are pure common sense issues. For one, there was never any need for a Police Ministry in the first place! The Police Affairs Ministry was one of the many ministries created to provide jobs for the boys. Secondly, it is a fact that police officers cannot be expected to give in their best when they are gravely underpaid. These things do not need committees to have them told! They are simply obvious to any objective and discerning mind! Of a truth, the basic common sense recommendations of the various sectoral reform committees (and there are many that have been created by Jonathan alone) reveal that committees aren’t really needed and simply constitute valves to further drain funds which would otherwise be channelled into development.

It is quite instructive that Osayande said “[My] committee supports the recommendation of the Yusuf 2008 committee on the reform of the Nigeria Police”. Jonathan was Vice-President when the Yusuf committee made its findings known. Why did he not implement them as President? It’s indicting for the system when one committee supports the position of an earlier one that was not implemented. Any man in his right senses should reject being drafted into a new committee on any issue. Just tell the Federal Government to use common sense or better still, to dust older files on the subject.

Even before I came to terms with the fallout from Jonathan’s latest committee, he struck again, by creating yet another committee on August 15, 2012 to review Osayande’s report! Goodluck Jonathan simply doesn’t get it! Even after widespread condemnation of his governance by committees, he stubbornly stays the course! This is malfeasance at its prime!

Also, if we go by the suggestion of the Police Affairs Minister, Caleb Olubolade, that Osayande’s committee was wrong to propose the scrapping of his ministry, then it is highly probable that the review committee will cancel out the progressive postulations from Osayande’s committee and consequently, the police will remain handicapped and we will be back to square one! It’s a cycle of utter imbecility! Nigerians must demand a stop to this nonsense!

It is also quite unfortunate that a so-called Forum of Retired Inspectors-General of Police (IGPs) has opposed the Osayande committee’s sensible recommendation for the scrapping of the Police Ministry. The arguments of the so-called Forum of Retired IGPs against the scrapping of the Police Ministry are baseless! This forum consists majorly of men who, over the years, have aided and abetted corruption in high places in Nigeria. It is quite likely that the Police Affairs Ministry doles out contracts that can be traceable to some of these retired IGPs. If these retired IGPs were not self-seeking, they would have sought to advise Jonathan long ago when the security situation was getting out of hand and not wait for a committee to propose the scrapping of the Police Ministry before showing up. That’s a telltale about their sinister aims!

The Jonathan government, with its record-levels of a bloated recurrent expenditure feeding a massively wasteful bureaucracy, has a Police Ministry, a Police Council, a Police Service Commission, besides the Police Force itself! That reminds me; Jonathan very recently added a Niger Delta Council to the existing Niger Delta Ministry (created by Yar’Adua and himself) and Niger Delta Development Commission – at a time when he ought to ensure frugality in government business.

In all, Jonathan unfortunately has an inclination to creating committees on issues that should not ordinarily bypass the knowledge of his battalion of advisers and special advisers (there’s, by the way, a presidential adviser on ethics!) and when they present cogent and unequivocal arguments, such as in the case of Osayande’s police reform committee, he goes on to create other committees to review their recommendations. These Jonathan’s inane, insensitive and inept actions amount, by and large, to deforms of the reforms that Nigeria’s police badly needs!



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  1. The Police is the most essential security outfit of very democratic society ordinarily its supposed to be well funded and fully equipped to the extent that in a country like Nigeria it can even counter or repel a coup by the military. Long rules of the military has further bastardised the Police and made next to useless for their selfish interest. The Police we have today is to subdue the population but not to fight any or confront any type of armed rebellion that we re faced with in the country today.
    The so called forum of retired IG’s should hide in shame apart from the obvious fact that these people enjoy contracts from the Police ministry , at a point in time they were clamouring to head that ministry so its not surprising. GEJ is clueless no doubt and he is very insensitive to criticism as a result he is not ready to listen to voice of wisdom like yours not to talk of making use of such. Any government taking over from this one would ve to start afresh for this one is about to further destroy the already non functioning system he inherited.

    • My brother, thanks for your very insightful and rich contribution. Of course, all your points are valid! But then, I honestly think you should have said “[voices] of wisdom like [ours]…”

  2. We practice government of committees and corruption. Can anything good comeout of this government? Sadly the answer is an emphatic NO! Ministry of police affairs is another drainage on our scarce(?) Resources. Multi duplication of offices and functions need to be done away with.

  3. Am short of words now. Actually, i don’t have problem with setting up of committee by him, everyone has his/her her own style of governance but my concern is basically about non-implementation of the committee report.

    • My dear brother, honestly, you can’t say you don’t have a problem with the setting up of committees. An American politician, Ross Perot said: “If you see a snake, just kill it. Don’t appoint a committee on snakes”. In other words, there are certain things that require pragmatic and direct government action. In our case in Nigeria, this is especially true, given our poor record on service delivery and particularly considering the need to trim down government expenses. Also, it’s not about having your own style! Good governance is not in styles!

  4. This is well researched and well written, as always. Jonathan needs to set up a committee on reducing the number of committees; those things amount to a total waste of our resources, resources which need to be managed. But how could he possible manage resources when the concept is totally alien to him? He’s been wasteful right from Bayelsa, so it really isn’t odd that he’s not doing any better now, is it? Some things are glaring – so obvious that a blind man would see the truth and know what to do, but not Jonathan. Never Jonathan. Former IGs coming together? The same IGs that embezzled pension funds? The same ‘association’ with a ‘distinguished member’ like tafa balogun?? He is one of them, or is he not? This country is a joke, the people are annoyingly docile, and about the only thing they excel at doing is talking and praising these same politicians for some change.

    • Jonathan’s committees re simply an indication that he can’t rule this country. Government can never be by committees. Apart from wasting our resources and creating a job for his political cronies what has he achieved so far Nothing. I agree with my sister here since Gej is obsessed with committees we humbly await a committee that ll look onto the desolution of all committees or a committee not create more committees.

    • My dear, your comments are always very concise and thought-provoking. Thanks for throwing more light on the issues. I especially appreciate your reaction to the wahala of the loathsome former IGPs. Nigeria needs to be rescued from their clutches! I’m confident we’ll rise to the occasion.

  5. It seems committees are created to compensate some people that cannot be awarded contracts . That’s why we are having different committees without implementation . Resources are only wasted . Committees on committees no implementation . Any way the police supposed to be a friend to the the community but it happens that they are enemies . They are not doing their assign duties . Their uniform become a disgrace to the people the suppose to serve . They are rated the most corrupt in Nigeria . GEJ should kindly adopt the recommendations made by the 2008 and the Osayande’s commitees .

    Isah Haruna Ardido
  6. Nice analysis. Committees to review the recommendation of another committee is the height of ineffectiveness. It shows how desperately clueless Jonathan’s government is. Or the lack of a will to do the right thing. A shame.

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