POLICING THE NIGERIAN SOCIETY THROUGH THE COMMUNITY POLICING STRATEGY
THE ROLE OF THE CITIZEN
The seeming helplessness of the Nigerian police to maintain law and order and ensure the safety of the lives and properties of Nigerians in many parts of the country has elicited harsh criticisms of the force as well as suspicion and hostility from the people. This state of affairs has also motivated people from all walks of life to propose wide ranging reforms of the police force. Recently, on 21st November, 2018 the president received a report from a National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies research group on internal security, which leaned heavily towards community policing. Other Nigerians, including private citizens as well as the National Assembly have persistently called for a reform of the force to decentralize it and constitutionally mandate the establishment of state police formations. This suggests that there is something wrong with the structure and efficiency of the Nigerian police. The objective of this paper is to interrogate the essence of citizenship and examine the relationship between the Nigerian police and the Nigerian citizen with a view to suggesting reform options that will best serve the Nigerian society and the police force itself. The method adopted for the study is descriptive analysis of materials obtained from desk survey. The study is then built around the contingency theory of organisations as popularized by Paul Lawrence and Jay Lorsch. It is expected that the paper will contribute significantly to the growing body of research on policing in Nigeria towards improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the police in serving and protecting the Nigerian society with integrity.