Service For Sale: How Police Commercialise Security Operations Amid Manpower Shortage

Nigerians have raised concerns over the commercialisation of security services of personnel of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to those who can afford to pay, investigation by Daily Trust Saturday revealed.

Prominent personalities who have the wherewithal can “rent” police operatives through the latest platform of the NPF called Police Specialised Automated Services Programme (POSSAP).

Those behind the platform said it would liberalise private citizens’ use of armed police for their activities.

Although they claimed it is a “standard practice across the world,” some concerned citizens said this might not necessarily be true.

They also said that considering Nigeria’s peculiarities, the whole concept had been abused as people who have the means pay for the service to have police operatives at social events like parties, wedding ceremonies, burials, concerts by celebrities, among others, at a time the larger population requires general protection.

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Some citizens expressed disgust that this is happening at a time the number of police personnel is less than 400,000 and below the one police officer to 400 citizens for Nigeria’s population of 214million people.

Depending on the capacity of the client to pay for the services, it is now common to see tens of police operatives armed with sophisticated weapons moving in front and back of newlywed couples, people seeking for political offices or businessmen and women using the officers as status symbol.

While there are certain people the constitution and other laws give life protection and other perks, even after they leave public offices, observers are worried that police protection is now “cash-and-carry” and is reducing the image of the force beyond whatever benefits therein.

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Ifah Sunday Ele
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