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1.1 Background of the Study
The Nigeria Police Force, The military and other security agencies are statutory institutions of the state, created for the national security of its citizens and protection of territorial integrity of the state. The Nigeria Police and the Military are saddled with the responsibilities of maintaining peace and order, protection of the territorial integrity of the state as well as protection of lives and properties so that citizens can live, work and go about their normal legitimate business without undue fear of intimidation and aggression within the confines of the Nigerian borders.
The Nigeria police has a history dating back to 1861 when the British recruited 30 men consular Guards and engaged them mainly to protect colonial interest. These armed constabulary formed the nucleus of what gradually metamorphosed into the Royal Niger constabulary in 1888 formed in Lokoja (present Kogi State), Niger coast constabulary formed in Calabar in 1894 and the Lagos force formed in 1896.
However, after the amalgamation of the Southern and Northern Protectorate by Lord Lugard in 1914, a fusion of all the forces hitherto working independently of each other occurred and what is today known as the Nigerian police was formed in 1930. The Nigerian Police is an organization whose responsibility borders primarily on crime control and internal security through the instrumentality of the Nigerian constitutional provisions.1
The authority to establish the Nigeria Police is embedded in section 214 (17) of the 1999 constitution which states that “there shall be a Police Force in Nigeria which shall be known as the Nigeria Police Force and subject to the provisions of the section, no other police force shall be established for the federation of any part of the country”. The functions and powers of the Police Force are however spell out in Chapter four (4) of the Police Act and Regulations.2
Nevertheless, the historical background of the Nigeria Military is traceable to the 19th century when the British colonial government in Nigeria mobilized locals into the military to protect British interest. The British government raised these military forces primarily to subjugate vociferous local oppositions to the ancillary forces in order to augment the fragile imperial force as a counter force against the French and River European nations who were scrambling for African territories3
In 1962, Sir John Glover formed the first force in Lagos when he became the imperial Governor. The force at inception was called Glover Hausa Force. The force was also known as Hausa Militia and finally Lagos constabulary. This force started as a small Army of forty (40) men but was later increased to hundred (100) armed men. As history reveals these Hausa’s mobilized we among the slaves who ran away from their master in 1863 and settled in Lagos where they sought protection of Lt. Glover.4 nevertheless, in 1895, a separate body called Hausa forces was established and the Lagos constabulary performed both Police and Military duties.
However, in 1914 after the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorates by Lord Lugard the fusion of all military forces into West Africa Frontier Force (WAFF) occurred. This force could be deployed at the pleasure of the crown acting through the imperial secretary of state in London. The West African Frontier Force was commanded by a commandant designated as a Major General who took instruction directly from the General Officer Commander. In chief of West African Army who in turn was responsible to the war officer in London.5
The constitutional conference of 1958 in London necessitated a change in the control of Nigeria Military. Thus on April 1958 the control of the Nigerian Military and that of the Army shifted from British Council to the Government of Nigeria. The need to indigenize the military arose in 1960 when the country attained independence on the 1st of October 1960. As a fall out from this the Armed Forces Decree (AFD) No. 105 (as amended) of 1963 was enacted to replace the Army Act of 1960.6
The Armed Forces Act (AFA) “A” 20 laws of Nigeria (LFN) 2004 being the most current one as well as the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria established the Army and spells out its duties. In section 217 (1) as follows, “there shall be Armed Forces for the Federation which shall consist of an army a Navy and Air Force and other such branches of the Armed Forces of the Federation as may be established by an Act of the National Assembly”.7 However other security agencies have their own responsibilities according to the constitution that established them. Although, there is dichotomy between the functions of these institutions, they are not mutually exclusive, but to a large event they are complementary to one another.
Be that as it may, it should be understood that the overall objectives of agencies is that of ensuring that peace reigns supreme in order to create a conducive atmosphere for economic progress and improved standard of living in the country. This objective cannot be achieved without unsolicited cooperation among the security agencies especially the military and the police force. It is on this premise that inter-agencies cooperation on crime prevention and detection is clamored for. In past years, Police-military cooperation responses to issues were a mutual one compared to present relationship between the two forces. Incidences of clashes however shows that the relationship between these two agencies have been severed and very in-cordial in recent years.
In spite of the efforts toward inter agency cooperation in strengthening the security outfits especially the Police Force and the military, there are still several instances of clashes (conflicts) among the Nigerian security establishments. These conflicts have been recorded particularly among the Nigerian Police and the military comprising of the army, navy and the air force.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The ultimate and cardinal responsibility of any nation includes search for peace, stability and security. The absence of these would result in absolute anarchy, which could be detrimental to the nation’s progress. It is based on the need and importance of ensuring peace, stability and cohesion for national growth and development that informs the establishment of various security agencies like the Nigeria Police Force, the Nigeria Armed Forces, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense corps as well as other paramilitary agencies.
However, since the functions of these forces are complimentary, especially since 1960 when Nigeria attained her independence, much cooperation have been achieved among these security agencies working in concert with one another thereby resulting in national security. Nevertheless, in recent time in Nigeria, especially since the advent of civil rule in 1999, the relationship between the military and the Police have not been very cordial. There have been violent clash among the personnel of the military and the Police in many parts of the country and the recent one in Calabar, Cross River State on the 7th day of July, 2017 between men of the Nigeria Navy and the Nigeria Police Force make it appear as recurring dermal and an inevitable occurrence.
The unhealthy rivalry and constant clashes among these military and paramilitary personnel portends a negative omen for the internal security of the nation, as there can be no meaningful socio-economic and political development where peace is absence. Hence, it is imperative that a research of this nature be conducted to give some explanations to those clashes that have transpired both military and civilian regimes in Nigeria. This research work will bring to bear some very pertinent issues that have long been overlooked as well as proffer solutions for policy makers in the bid to curb the protracted menace working against the unity of security agencies in Nigeria.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The objectives of the study are to:
- examine the nature and dimension of frequent conflicts between personnel of the Nigeria Police and the military.
- analyze the causes of these frequent conflicts as they relate to these military and police men.
- examine the implications of such conflict on the maintenance of law and order through the national goals of peace, stability and cohesion.
- proffer strategies and aimed at improving the relationship between the Nigeria Police and the Military.
1.4 Research Questions
In the light of above, the following questions are discernable:
- is there any significance between the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigeria Military in carrying out their responsibilities?
- to what extent has the Nigerian security agencies (the Nigeria Police Force, The Nigeria Army, The Nigeria Air Force and the Nigeria Navy, etc) carried out their last of preventing internal and external attacks as well as safeguarding lives and properties?
- what are the causes of conflict among the Nigeria Security Agencies?
- what are the impacts of the conflicts among the Security Agencies on the society at large?
1.5 Significance of the Study
This study is significant because it will bring to bear the nature and pattern of conflict of interest among the Nigerian Security Agencies. Also, it will prove to be a very useful guide to policy decision makers in future decision making processes as it pertains to matters of Nigerian Security Agencies. It will help Nigeria Security Agencies to identify the root causes of unhealthy rivalry which exist among them.
Furthermore, the research will contribute to the ongoing efforts to eradicate conflict among the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigeria Military Force. Finally it will sustain existing literature and will guide future researches as well as benefit scholars and the general reading public.
1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study
The thematic scope of this study is the Nigeria Police-Military relations while the chronological scope is between 1960-2017. Geographical scope covers conflict flash points like Lagos State, Bauchi State, Cross River State among others. The study will focus on identifying the remote and immediate causes of notable conflicts among the Nigeria Police and the military in the above mentioned states as well as proffer solutions to such conflicts.
However, the study was limited by several factors. First was the difficulty in getting access to top senior officers to get evidences and useful information which are kept secret and confidential. Also, there has been the issue of inability to get access to reports of enquiries committee on cases of police-military clashes set up by the government to investigate clashes.
1.7 Method of Study
The research design or methods adopted for this study are historical and descriptive research methods. This is informed by the fact that the study is based on the dimension of the conflict between the Police and the Military. Critical attempts are made towards analyzing the reasons behind these conflict situations in Nigeria between 1960-2017. Data employed for the study were gathered from both primary and secondary sources. Primary sources included oral interviews and eye witness accounts with knowledgeable persons on the subject under study while secondary sources included but were not limited to periodicals, textbooks, intelligence reports, internet articles among others.
1.8 Ethical Issues
I obtained consent from my interviewees before interviews. I did this by presenting a letter of introduction to the interviewee and obtained consent before going ahead with the interview. I allowed my interviewees the freewill to participate or withdraw from the interview when need arose in order not to jeopardize their jobs. During interviews I asked the interviewees whether they would like to be anonymous or made public. For those that pleaded anonymity I respected their privacy by keeping them anonymous and respected their privacy of persons. I ensured that my procedure of data gathering did not cause any physical or emotional harm, and I took care of the data obtained from my interviewees such that they did not fall into wrong hands. To avoid plagiarism I carefully documented all sources of data using the endnotes and other acceptable methods to make sure that all sources are recognized.
1.9 Definition of Terms
In order to avoid the misinterpretation of terms used in this research, there is need for the definition of terms used as well as their meaning within the context of this research.
Police: The police is the department of government which is concerned with the maintenance of public order and safety and the enforcement of maintaining public orders, enforcing regulation for the prevention and punishment of breaches of the law and detecting crime.
Military: This includes the Army, the Air Force and the Navy whose job is to defend and protect the nation from external aggression or war and as well as helping the Police in the case of internal and serious disturbances.
Other Security Services and Agencies: Other Security Services and Agencies referred to in this dissertation include the Customs Service, Immigration Service, Prison Service, NIA, NDLED, EFCC, NAFDAC, DIA, FRSC, NEMA, VIO, NSCDC, etc.
Cooperation: Refers to the action of working together toward the same end, purpose or effect as in joint operation.
Conflicts: Is defined as the act of striking together, clash, competition or mutual interference of opposing in compatible force or qualities, and engagement between men under arms.
Clashes: Is defines as an act of arguing or fighting between two people, groups or armies.
Security: The term Security connotes the conditions which result from the establishment of measures which protect a designated system or component thereof against hostile persons, acts or influences. It denotes a condition of being secure of being exposed to danger. Security could also refer to quality of being security attached, within the context of this thesis, security connotes economic social and political survival, and security wraps itself into all facts of human existence.
1 A. D. Muhammed, “Code of conduct for officers and men of Nigeria Police Force”, 2012.
2 The Nigeria Police Act and Regulation, 1986.
3 H. Ababiaka, Internal Security Threat to Nigeria: A personal Perspective. Lecture Delivered to Students of AFCSC Course 27. 2003.
4 O. E. Nwatafor, “International and Stateless Terrorism: Its Challenges, Problems of Definition and Assumption” MSS, Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, Kaduna, 2002.
6 The Nigeria Army Cap 229 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 1990.