Securing Nigeria Through Intelligence, By Uzor Maxim Uzoatu

National Security: Intelligence and Community Partnership Approach Edited by Solomon E Arase; LawLords Publications, Lagos & Abuja;2013; 242pp

National security is on the front burner of discourse all over the country. It is arguable that only in the years of the civil war has Nigeria been besieged with more security challenges. The threats are from many corners such as can be even overwhelming for all the security agencies put together. The remarkable dimension for me is that the Nigeria Police, as this book clearly shows, would indeed want to be counted as putting the intelligent minds of its erudite officers toward tackling the multiform security challenges of the country. The police can hardly go wrong in going the whole hog of demonstrably applying the intelligence and community partnership approach toward guaranteeing national security.

AIG Solomon E Arase has carved a commendable niche as one police officer with passion for research and intellectualism in understanding and tackling policing in a difficult terrain such as Nigeria is. He had earlier co-edited with Iheanyi PO Iwuofor the book Policing Nigeria in the 21st Century and was the editor of Monograph on Criminal Investigation. AIG Arase has upped the ante in editing National Security: Intelligence and Community Partnership Approach, a treatise which if put to practical use can usher the country into the brave new future of workable security.

In his foreword to National Security: Intelligence and Community Partnership Approach, the Inspector-General of Police, MD Abubakar, clearly states that “intelligence functions and community partnership are inextricably intertwined.” According to IGP Abubakar, “sourcing and management of criminal intelligence based on community partnership has become a strategic component of modern policing activities. Therefore, for any Police department anywhere in the world to achieve its mandate, public acceptance is vital. This is because the community constitutes a broad and rich information base which if properly harnessed can ease the task of policing. The challenge confronting police managers, accordingly, has been how best to cultivate citizen’s goodwill and utilize the broad information asset which they present towards policing functions.”

Against the background of growing the vision of police intelligence within the ambit of partnering the community, IGP Abubakar directed AIG Arase who is in-charge of the Force Intelligence Bureau (FIB) of the Nigeria Police “to organize a broad-based Intelligence Sensitization and Community Partnership Workshop across the six geopolitical zones of the country with the intention of enlightening the members of the public including state and non-state actors on the strategic roles in internal security management and how to collaborate with their police in this veritable journey.” Of course the workshops “served to reassure the citizens that they now have a police body that they can truly trust to protect their security as informants, protect the integrity of any information provided, and utilize such information to support police operations in the most professional and law-conforming manner.”

National Security: Intelligence and Community Partnership Approach is the outcome of the various papers presented at the workshops which attracted well over 3,000 participants across the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria. AIG Arase’s knack for organization packaged workshops starting from Minna, Niger State (North-Central Edition); Gusau, Zamfara State (North-West Edition); Yola, Adamawa State (North-East Edition); Enugu, Enugu State (South-East Edition); Calabar, Cross River State (South-South Edition); and finally ending at Ibadan, Oyo State (South-West Edition).

In his overview, the media consultant to the project Iheanyi PO Iwuofor stresses: “Having cultivated public goodwill through the framework of the geopolitical workshops, the challenge before strategic police managers is how to translate this positive disposition into practical police actions that will indeed re-assure the citizens of the readiness of the Nigeria Police to address public concerns and incorporate intelligence and community partnership into their policing functions.”

The editor of National Security: Intelligence and Community Partnership Approach, AIG Solomon E Arase, in the treatise, “Non-State Policing and Internal Security: An Implementation Strategy” informs that “across the developing world, local policing organizations are often the primary providers of protection, deterrence, investigation, resolution, and punishment.” He proposes that “there are sufficient success stories of non-state policing at the local level to suggest that innovative national frameworks for security partnerships between state and non-state actors can be used widely and systematically for addressing crime in Nigeria.”

It is indeed a redoubtable team that tackles issues surrounding intelligence-led policing and community partnership in this book, which notably includes: Prof Etannibi EO Alemika, Professor of Criminology and Sociology of Law at University of Jos; Prof Abdul-Mumin Sa’ad, Provost of Federal College of Education, Yola; Innocent Chukwuma, Executive Director of Centre for Law Enforcement Education in Nigeria (CLEEN Foundation) and Country Representative of Ford Foundation; Fola Arthur-Worrey, Chief Executive Officer at Lagos State Security Trust Fund; Dr Tonnie Iredia, former Director-General of Nigerian Television Authority (NTA); Dr Ona Ekhomu, President of Association of Industrial Security and Safety Association, Nigeria (AISSON) etc.

The arguments of the 21 contributors to National Security: Intelligence and Community Partnership Approach underscore AIG Arase’s submission, to wit, “Policing is not simply the activity of a country’s police. Rather, policing includes any organized activity that seeks to ensure the maintenance of communal order, safety, and peace through elements of prevention, deterrence, investigation of breaches, resolution and punishment.” African societies almost always had their policing processes before the coming of the white man. There is now the need to penetrate the communal ethos towards the solving of diverse crimes such as kidnapping, Boko Haram etc. It is incumbent on the government to make the funds available towards the fruition of this national call.

This is a well-packaged book, but there would be the need to correct in future editions the spelling of “Foreword” which is published here as “Forward”, and also the placing of Gusau, Zamfara State as representing the “South West Edition” of the workshop! Even so, National Security: Intelligence and Community Partnership Approach is a splendid contribution towards the transformation of Nigeria. The promotion of intelligence-led policing in alliance with the partnership of the community is the way to go in the drive toward entrenching national security across the length and breadth of Nigeria.

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