The Need For Effective Synergy Between The Nigeria Police And The Nigeria Army
By Adewole Kehinde
“Synergy is better than my way or your way. It’s our way,” – Stephen Covey
The history of clashes between the Nigeria Police and the Nigeria Army dates back several decades and is rooted in various socio-political and institutional factors. These clashes have occurred at different times and in different regions of the country.
One of the earliest recorded clashes between the police and the army happened in 1945, during the colonial era when Nigeria was still under British rule. The Enugu coal miners’ strike led to violence, resulting in a clash between police officers and soldiers.
In recent history, clashes between the police and the army have often been related to issues such as jurisdictional disputes, power struggles, and conflicting roles and responsibilities. These clashes often arise due to a lack of clear delineation of duties and confusion over who should be responsible for certain security functions.
One notable clash occurred in November 2008 in Jos, Plateau State, where a dispute over land rights and religious tensions resulted in violent clashes between the police and the army. This incident led to a loss of lives and property.
Another significant clash occurred in December 2011, when the police and army clashed in Gombe State over the control of checkpoints. The clash resulted in several deaths and injuries.
The recent been November 22nd, 2023 when Nigerians woke up to the news that the Adamawa State Police Headquarters in Jimeta, Yola North Local Government Area, was attacked by gunmen, frightening the locals of Yola.
A witness said that three soldiers had an altercation with policemen who were on stop-and-search duty at Target Junction in Jimeta in the Yola North area, and one of the soldiers pulled a jack knife and attempted to disarm the policemen.
This led one of the policemen to shoot the soldier in the leg, leading to the soldiers’ reprisal attack on the police headquarters, during which an inspector, Jacob Daniel, was killed in the crossfire.
One of the policemen who tried to repel the soldiers during the attack said the soldiers deployed a dozen trucks and an armoured tank and opened fire when the police denied them access to the facility.
The clashes between the police and army are not limited to one region or time. They have occurred in various parts of the country, including the Niger Delta region, where conflicts over oil resources have occasionally led to clashes between the two security agencies.
Efforts have been made by the Federal Government to address these clashes and improve inter-agency cooperation. For example, joint training exercises and workshops have been organized to promote understanding and collaboration between the police and the army.
To ensure effective synergy between the Nigeria Police and the Nigeria Army, it is important to promote collaboration, communication, and coordination between the two organizations.
Here are some steps that can be taken:
1. Regular Joint Training Exercises: Organize joint training exercises where both the police and army personnel can learn from each other, understand their respective roles, develop trust, and enhance their overall capabilities.
2. Information Sharing: Establish a proper mechanism for sharing intelligence, information, and updates between the police and army. This can be achieved through the creation of dedicated communication channels and platforms for real-time sharing.
3. Joint Operations: Conduct joint operations to address specific security challenges in areas where both police and army presence is required. This will facilitate effective coordination, pooling of resources, and sharing of responsibilities to achieve common objectives.
4. Liaison Officers: Appoint liaison officers from both organizations who can act as intermediaries, fostering closer ties and ensuring smooth communication between the police and army at various levels.
5. Joint Planning: Develop collaborative strategies and operational plans by involving representatives from both the police and army. This will enable them to jointly identify security threats, devise appropriate responses, and allocate resources effectively.
6. Task Forces: Establish joint task forces to tackle specific security issues like terrorism, insurgency, or organized crime. These task forces should have members from both the police and army, with clearly defined roles and responsibilities.
7. Joint Command Structure: Create a unified command structure, headed by competent and experienced officers from both the police and army. This will help streamline decision-making processes and improve operational effectiveness.
8. Community Engagement: Encourage joint community outreach initiatives involving both police and army personnel. This will foster trust, improve public perception, and enhance the effectiveness of security efforts.
9. Regular Review and Evaluation: Conduct periodic reviews and evaluations of joint operations, training programs, and collaboration efforts. Identify areas for improvement and make necessary adjustments to enhance the synergy between the police and army.
10. Respect and Recognition: Foster an environment of mutual respect and recognition between the police and army personnel. Emphasize the importance of their complementary roles and appreciate their contributions towards national security.
By implementing these steps, the Nigeria Police and the Nigeria Army can work together more effectively, maximizing their strengths and resources to provide better security for the nation.
It is worth mentioning that both the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigeria Army play crucial roles in ensuring the security and well-being of the Nigerian people. While clashes between them have occurred, it is important to focus on the larger objective of maintaining peace and stability in the country.
Adewole Kehinde is the publisher of Swift Reporters and can be reached via 08166240846, firstname.lastname@example.org