Botswana with a population of 2 million people is a model African country, known for its political stability, a strong economy, a stable democracy and blessed with visionary leaders. Botswana keeps getting things right, and the world acknowledges the country’s strides.
According to the World Internal Security and Police Index (WISPI), Botswana’s police was ranked the 47th in the world and the first in Africa. The ranking was done by the International Police Science Association (IPSA) and the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP).
WISPI was proposed by Dr. Mamdooh Abdelmottlep, a Professor of Criminal Justice Management and Security Expert and the founder and Executive Chairman of International Police Science Association (IPSA). According to the report, this is the first iteration of WISPI.
The report looked at four domains of internal security: capacity, process, legitimacy, and outcomes. The capacity domain scrutinized the resources that a nation dedicates to internal security. The process domain looks at whether the resources dedicated to internal security are used in an effective manner. The legitimacy domain is a measure of whether the public view security providers, particularly the police, in a favourable light. Finally, the outcomes domain assesses current threats to internal security.
The report suggested that countries with flawed democracies performed worse than stronger countries. Countries with smaller populations also performed better. Rwanda was ranked 50th in the world and second in Africa, Algeria was 58th, Senegal was 68th and, Tunisia 72nd. Botswana is one of the few countries in Africa that has a full democracy.
Nigeria on the other hand was ranked 127th out of the 127 countries ranked. Uganda, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo occupied the 124th to 126th respectively. The report stated that police and judicial system effectiveness is a serious problem in Nigeria and that general corruption was high according to the Control of Corruption indicator. 81 per cent of Nigerian respondents to the Global Corruption Barometer admitted to paying a bribe to a police officer in the last year. Only 0.06 per cent of thefts were reported to police. Unsurprisingly, the Rule of Law index found that military and police officials are likely to use their public positions for private gain.
In the past few weeks Nigerians commented on social media about their experiences with the police. Many listed the atrocities the Nigerian Police commits including illegal detention, extrajudicial killings, intimidation and demand for bribes. The Nigerian Police has a phrase that says “police is your friend,” but that has been in practice Nigerians tell a different story.
The relationship between Nigerian police and citizens is characterised by deep distrust and animosity. There is generally a lack of trust and respect for the Nigerian police, and the police force and central government will need to continuously work to improve the relationship between the public and police, to earn the respect and trust of citizens.