The 2016 World Internal Security and Police Index (WISPI) has ranked the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) as the poorest police formation in the world and Nigerian police disagrees.
The ranking which was conducted by the International Police and Institute for Economic and Peace rated the Nigeria Police as the worst in terms of handling Internal Security Issues amongst 127 countries and in four key areas of Capacity, Process, Legitimacy and Outcomes.
The report also revealed that Nigeria under-performed on all four key areas, with a score of 0.255.
Going by the WISPI ranking the top 10 performing African countries are Botswana which ranked highest at 47, followed by Rwanda which took the 50th position.
Others African countries that performed better than Nigeria includes Algeria, Senegal, Tunisia, Egypt, Burkina Faso, Ghana, South Africa and Mali, in that order.
As for the 10 under-performing countries African, we have Madagascar (111th), Zambia (112th), Ethiopia (115th), Sierra Leone (117th), Cameroon (120th), Mozambique (122nd), Uganda (124th), Kenya (125th), Democratic Republic of Congo (126th).
“There are 219 police officers for every 100,000 Nigerians, well below both the Index median of 300, and the sub-Saharan Africa region average of 268,” the WISPI report said.
“This limits the capacity of the force to measure up to its law and order mandate. In terms of process, legitimacy and outcomes, the story is not different which makes the force fall short of the required standard.
“High levels of political terror have been an issue for Nigeria since 1993, with the country scoring a 4 on the Political Terror Scale every year since then.”
But in a statement on Saturday, the NPF rejected the assessment and described it as unempirical and instead proclaimed itself one of the best in the world under any scientific yardstick.
“Nigeria Police Force is the best in UN Peace Keeping Operations, Best in Africa, One of the Best in the World. The Force rejects the report as unempirical and absolute falsehood, should be disregarded and discountenanced”, said the police in a preface to their statement of objection to the report .
“The Nigeria Police Force after a careful study of the report and the news items emanating from it, wishes to state categorically that the report is entirely misleading, a clear misrepresentation of facts and figures and essentially unempirical, considering the area of coverage of the report which was said to have been carried out in 2016 by the above mentioned associations.
“The report did not take into cognisance the significant improvement in the areas of Capacity Building, Training and Re-training of the entire personnel of the Force as provided for by the current Federal Government of Nigeria and other Foreign and Local NGOs which has greatly improved the efficiency and service delivery of the personnel of the Force throughout the country.
“It is pertinent to state that the instruments used to evaluate the performance of the Force vis-à-vis that of other countries is absolutely incorrect and grossly inadequate and therefore a plain distortion of facts and figures. The strength of about Three Hundred and Seventy Thousand (370,000) Police Personnel in the country stands at around One (1) Policeman to less than Six Hundred (600) people in a population estimates of One Hundred and Eighty Millions (180,000,000) Nigerians.
“It is equally significant to state that the current recruitment of additional Ten Thousand (10,000) Police Personnel into the Force by the Federal Government of Nigeria and the request by the Inspector General of Police to Government for approval of the recruitment of Thirty One Thousand (31,000) Police Personnel yearly for a period of 5years will definitely increase the strength of the Force to meet up with the UN ratio of One (1) Policeman to Four Hundred (400) citizens.
“Furthermore, in the UN Peace Keeping System, the Nigeria Police Force is rated as the best in UN Peace keeping operations in the world. This clearly shows that the Nigeria Police Force is not and cannot be the worst in the world under any known scientific yardstick or measuring instrument.
“Currently, the Nigeria Police Force is one of the only two African Delegates representing the whole of Africa continent on the executive committee of Interpol, a position the Force attained based on high performance, merit and sustained good track records.
“For avoidance of doubt, since the inception of the present Police administration in July 2016, the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim K. Idris NPM, mni, he has introduced and implemented diverse internal reforms aimed at improving capacity building and efficient service delivery of the personnel of the Force, which is yielding positive results in the standardisation of the capability of the Nigeria Police Force to deal with violent crimes and terrorism throughout the country. The establishment and take-off of a world class Terrorism Investigation Bureau for the Force with state-of-the-art equipment and technical support from foreign partners has greatly improved the capacity of the Force to deal with threats posed to internal security in this regard.
“However, it must be pointed out that the Nigeria Police Force sees the report as a clear demonstration of mischief, ignorance and calculated attempt to distort the feat being recorded by the Force in ensuring adequate security and safety of Nigerians. Nowhere in the report were references made to either the improved capacity or achievements recorded by the Nigeria Police Force across the country in the recent time, the Force therefore implores all Nigerians and international community to disregard the report as unfounded and misleading”.