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Policing and Perceptions of Police in Nigeria

NCJ Number
Police Studies Volume: 11 Issue: 4 Dated: (Winter 1988) Pages: 161-176
E E O Alemika
Date Published
16 pages
In spite of perennial public outrage against pervasive police repression, corruption, and inefficiency in Nigeria since colonialism, research into the historical, socioeconomic, and economic foundations and features of policing in the country is still scant and perfunctory.
The present paper discusses the contours of policing in Nigeria. In addition, a tentative scale for the measurement of the public perceptions of the Nigerian police is constructed. The responses to the items on the Perceptions of Police Scale are analyzed. Generally, the responses of the percipients reveal an unflattering view of the nation's police. The basic conclusion drawn is that the perennial problems of conduct, corruption, and productivity (Sykes, 1985) in the Nigerian police derive from the perpetual crisis and breach of social democracy, rule of law, and socioeconomic justice in the country. Consequently, it is suggested that solutions to authoritarian, class-biased, and inefficient policing in Nigeria lie in the creation and consolidation of political and economic structures that promote fundamental democratic rights and liberties, socioeconomic justice, and legitimate succession to power. 3 tables, 12 endnotes, 36 references. (Publisher abstract)