The Police performs the most critical service to the people from cradle to grave. Whenever, you want to see how a country is doing in terms of social solidarity, internal peace and adherence to rights without any form of discrimination, look at the police. The critical nature of police, policing and policing responsibilities makes the police an entry point when, citizens want to interrogate the usefulness of governments. Therefore, attacks on police formations is a very veritable source of assessment of Governments and their relationship with citizens. It is best represented as an attack on the soul of governments.
Nigeria comprises 250 ethnic groups with about 200 of such groups all in the north. The demographic composition shows that we have a youth bulge indicated by young people from 15-40 years accounting for over 40% of the population. This is called a demographic bonus and its usual for governments to take advantage of this bonus for economic development and vitality. For this reason, government must be creative in many ways from job creation to education to health care to managed migration to enhanced social economy, to equality to social justice and internal stability. Which of these, can government claim to have achieved? None!
Our police has an enrollment of about 350/370,000+- men and officers. Its the largest bureaucracy in Nigeria due to geographical spread. The numbers are below UN standards for active policing yet we have a youth bulge.
What can we do?
- Government should recruit from the young population and pull out a critical mass of the productive population from unemployment and the streets. This will cut off sources of recruitment for bandits and terror groups.
- Government should encourage managed migrations for our young population to overseas under an enhanced technical aid Corp.
- Government should establish more marine institutes and a shipping line to train the young population to become mariners departing our shores to the seas which is a common heritage of mankind.
- Government should encourage companies that require large coat tails in terms of employment enrollment to establish tax free businesses in Nigeria whether in agriculture, aviation or stevedoring or fashion.
5.Government should improve access to trade credits, health care and free education with a technical bias for the young population and secure their future thereby, yanking them off from terrorism appeal and fundamentalism.
- There should be a board comprising government, christian and Islamic leaders to license preachers on an annul basis to forestall fundamentalism and extremist ideals.
7.Government should include a defence offset policy in our defence procurements for tech transfer and job creation for our youths.
An empowered society is an empowered people. An empowered people is a free society. Rights inure and are meaningful only to the empowered and the more people are empowered the more governments adhere to the rule of law.
Nigeria will be greater someday and transit to a nation.
Odionyenfe Inyima writes from Aba.