The strategic importance of effective leadership in the police force

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By Binta Alamin Yinusa

It is a common fact that a nation can practically be measured and assessed by the kind of police force it has. The quality of the police itself largely depends on the type of its own internal leadership profile. This is very pivotal because on this hangs the overall fortune of the force. An ineffective, weak, and ill-prepared leadership will lead to an equally paralysed force.

Relatedly, proper policing is a cardinal indicator of the health of nations. As the police go, so goes any serious democracy. The need for a properly trained and motivated police force can not thus be overver emphasised. And this starts at the very top echelon of the command.

Consequently, the Nigerian Police has, over the years, demonstrated that it can be rated as one of the best given the right impetus. Successive governments have also done their best to improve on the force either through better welfare package or even, in various instances, change in uniforms.

These are all very important in our quest to have a refined and renewed police force. Better training and welfare packages can greatly impact on policing. Over the years, improved welfare has enhanced morale and professionalism.

However, it is the leadership of the force that has continued to attract the most attention when discussing the fortunes of the service. Various regimes have also grappled with this challenge. This is key because an African proverb says a fish starts to rot from its head. The police force is also a victim of a general atmosphere of bad leadership but specifically that of its inability to provide proper management.

Therefore, for the police to be strategically positioned to deal with criminality, the management must be right. The apex leadership of the police force must be one that is decent, engaging, developmental minded, and repositioned to work with modern tools.

Only this can bequeath the nation with a vibrant police force well stationed to address inner city crimes, banditry, and all forms of cyber security challenges. The search for such leadership of the police must be on the front burner in our hopes for a motivated, effective, and 21st century compliant force.