In civilized democracies what should have happened is for the police Chief of the nation to show leadership by suspending this seemingly ineffective commissioner of Police and to order for internal disciplinary measures to be imposed or even hand him over to the office of the Attorney General of Enugu State for prosecution for his culpable negligence.
Mr. Arase simply shook this failed erstwhile Enugu Police commissioner on his wrist and asked him to go and to sin no more.
For the many months he presided over as Police Inspector General in Nigeria, the more than 30 mobile Police operatives who disappeared from training school in Borno State whilst been chased by Boko Haram terrorists have yet to be accounted for.
The welfare of the police operatives is at its lowest with most police operatives posted to work in some stop-and-search operations across the Country turning their duties to extortion grounds.
Arase has left a legacy of indiscipline and crass corruption even as cases of extralegal executions of suspects in police detention centers all across Nigeria.
These legacies of indiscipline and corruption are the root causes of the poor policing standards and are the reasons why in over 75 percent of the entire country are left unprotected as most police operatives bribe their superiors to be posted to choice commands such as Lagos, Anambra, Imo and River State.
Virtually 90 percent of the rural communities are without any form of policing presence.
This inefficiency of policing is the driving force for the heightened clamor for the creation of State police to be patterned after what are obtainable in such places as the United Kingdom.
For the duration of his stay as Police Inspector General, he failed to build up the intelligence of the force except for rare qualities that have been displayed by a sprinkling of the detectives who have successfully busted some crime but many activities of the persons of the underworld are unleashed with no counter policing measures to stop these criminals and save the lives of Nigerians.
Arbitrary arrests of citizens at the whims and caprices of police operatives are rife even as this police force has failed till date to establish good enough scientific forensic laboratories to properly investigate cases of fatal crimes that have skyrocketed.
The fact that there is no institutional oversight on the use of firearms in Nigeria has further compounded these cases of extrajudicial killings by police under the immediate past Inspector General of Police.
The other day in Kano, a woman from Imo State was beheaded in the full glare of police for being an unfortunate victim of armed Islamic fundamentalists but the Police stood by and failed to stop this odious crime.
The Nigeria Police under the immediate past leadership of Solomon Arase have failed on many occasions to stop mobsters from lynching other Nigerians.
The manifestation of symptoms of state failure and violence have heightened since the time that Mr. Arase held office so he is considered as one of the most ineffective Chief Law enforcement officers of Nigeria in recorded history.
The book titled “Fragile Peace: State Failure, Violence and Development in Crisis Regions” edited by Tobias Debiel with Axel Klein, perhaps captured the episodes that characterized the failed policing standards under the watch of this Edo State born officer Mr. Solomon Arase.
They wrote thus: “In crisis countries the states proves, to a certain extent, to be strong and weak at the same time and can be described in terms of the ‘Lame Leviathan’ paradox (Khadiagala 1995:35).
“This means that, on one hand, it is quite able to keep social relations under control temporarily and appropriate resources in selected areas.
“On the other hand, however, it is ineffective and distended in the performance of its welfare and security functions and thus not in a position to implement coherent policy concepts beyond certain urban centers or to regulate social relations in a comprehensive manner (migdal 1988:8)”.
The policing institution that Solomon Arase met and has just left can at best only provide security to the politicians but spectacularly fails in all other areas.
It is heartrending that police operatives go about arresting innocent people, brutalizing them and extorting them on daily basis and specifically in the South East.
The simple role of the police which in section 4 of the police Act of 1990 provide thus:
“The police shall be employed for the prevention and detection of crime, the apprehension of offenders, the preservation of law and order, the protection of life and property and the due enforcement of all laws and regulation with which they are directly charged, and shall perform such military duties within or without Nigeria as may be required by them by, or under the authority of this or any other Act.”
This Nigeria Police Force is indeed a failed contraption!
Only meaningful and surgical overhaul and fundamental reforms can at best rescue Nigerians from the violence unleashed by armed hoodlums of various descriptions.
*Emmanuel Onwubiko is Head of Human rights Writers association of Nigeria and blogs @www.huriwa.blogspot.com www.emmanuelonwubiko.com.