7956 Police officers is attached to 36 state Governors

Thousands of Nigeria policemen are reportedly attached to
politicians, public office holders, and other
dignitaries despite cries of shortage of
personnel deployed for regular police duty by
the authorities, Daily Trust investigations have
The Nigeria Police Force recently said an
average of 221 policemen is attached to a
Nigerian governor.
There are about 300,000 policemen in Nigeria
with a population of 182 million people,
according to the Inspector-General of Police
Ibrahim Idris.
The Nigerian situation is far below the United
Nations’ 1:400 police-population ratio. The
Nigerian cops are overwhelmed by internal
security challenges that include robbery,
kidnapping, ritual killings, herders-farmers
clashes, ethno-religious and political violence.
Analysis by Daily Trust revealed that about
7,956 policemen are attached to the 36 state
governors in the country. This number is more
than two-third of the number of cops recruited
last year.
221 cops per governor
In April, the spokesperson of the Nigeria police
force, Jimoh Moshood said 221 police personnel
were attached to Governor Nyesom Wike of
Rivers State for personal protection.
Moshood was reacting to Governor Wike’s claim
that the Inspector General of Police Ibrahim
Idris had ordered that he should be killed. The
police spokesperson said the 221 personnel are
more than the number of cops in some state
police area commands in the country.
Moshood, an assistant commissioner of police,
said: “It is incumbent on the Nigeria Police
Force to educate the general public and draw
the attention of the Governor of Rivers State to
the facts and figures available for press and
members of the public to verify, that there are
221 police personnel attached currently to His
Excellency, Mr. Nyesom Wike, the Executive
Governor of Rivers State for his Personal and
office protection.
“The breakdown is as follows: one ADC (SPO),
one CSO (SPO), one Unit Commander (Special
Protection Unit) SPO, one Unit Commander
(Counter Terrorism Unit) SPO, one Escort
Commander (SPO), one Camp Commander (SPO),
one Admin officer (SPO) to administer the Police
Personnel, 54 Inspectors of Police, 136 Police
Sergeants and 24 Police Corporals.”
Daily Trust investigations revealed that the 36
ministers in the country have an average of five
policemen each, totalling 180, attached to them
for protection. A minister has an average
security convoy of two vehicles consisting of
anti-riot cops and operatives of the Department
of State Security (DSS).
Special Advisers (SAs) and Senior Special
Assistants (SSAs) to the president are currently
having at least one police detail attached to
them for personal security. Some of them have
more than one.
Members of the National Assembly also have
police protection. Senate President Bukola
Saraki, for instance, has 67 police personnel
attached to him. About 80 are said to be
attached to his deputy Ike Ekweremadu. The
106 other senators have at least one cop each
for personal protection.
In the House of Representatives, Speaker
Yakubu Dogara has an average of 30 cops
attached to his office. His deputy and other
principal officers have more than two each,
while the remaining 360 members have an
average of one each.
State legislators, commissioners, local
government chairmen and heads of state
agencies, among others, all have police
personnel attached to them. For instance, the
speakers of the 36 State Houses of Assembly
maintain a convoy of security personnel.
The judiciary is also having a large chunk of the
cops for the protection of judges. The Chief
Justice of the Federation (CJN), the President
of the Court of Appeal, chief justices of the
Federal High Court, the FCT High Court, Sharia
Court of Appeal, Customary Court of Appeal,
National Industrial Court, all have police
personnel attached to them for protection.
Also, the 22 Supreme Court justices, the 66
Court of Appeal justices, the 69 FHC judges, 38
FCT High Court judges, and the 20 judges of the
National Industrial Court, all have at least a cop
each attached to them.
Apart from these judicial officers, the 36 states
and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), equally
have hundreds of judges with police protection.
Protection for big cats
The heads of the 480 federal agencies,
commissions, parastatals and inter-ministerial
committees have between one to five police
personnel attached to them. They comprise of
group managing directors, managing directors,
directors general, executive secretaries,
executive chairmen, chief executive officers,
chief medical directors, executive vice
presidents, among others.
The number of police personnel attached to
these heads of agencies is based on their
category and grades. For instance, the GMD of
NNPC, Governor of CBN, EVC of Nigerian
Communications Commission (NCC), managing
director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), EFCC
chairman, among others have more police
personnel attached to them compared to those
attached to heads of teaching hospitals or NTA,
Even the police chiefs maintain a retinue of
large police personnel for protection. The
Inspector General of Police has a large
motorcade of security detail consisting of about
ten vehicles. The Deputy Inspectors General
(DIG) of police, Assistant Inspectors General
(AIG) of police, as well as Police
Commissioners (CP) maintain a moderate army
of policemen for protection.
The traditional rulers in the country also have
their own share of the cops for protection.
There are more than 100 first- class emirs and
chiefs in the country, and they maintain a huge
retinue of security convoy that comprises police
personnel. There are more than that number of
second -class and third-class chiefs that have
between three to two cops attached to them.
9,000 cops retire yearly
All this is happening at a time the country is
under-policed because of the shortage of
The chairman of the Police Service Commission,
Chief Mike Okiro recently told Daily Trust in an
interview that the Nigerian police force loses an
average of 9,000 personnel annually.
“From last year to date, we have lost about 9,000
people,” he said. “For five years, there’s been no
recruitment, and the police lost almost 40,000
people due to retirement, death and so on before
we got the marching order to recruit 10,000 every
year, which we did last year,” the former
inspector general of police, said.
100,000 cops as orderlies
Despite all this, about one-third of the police
population are illegally deployed as orderlies,
escorts, and guards to individuals not entitled to
such privileges.
This was the disclosure made in the middle of
2009 by the then Inspector-General of Police
Ogbonna Onovo in Abuja.
Addressing a press conference, Onovo said
close to 100,000 policemen were at the moment
illegally serving as guards to individuals who are
not entitled to such privileges.
The police chief at that time ordered all such
policemen working with individuals to withdraw
and report back to their police formations within
seven days or risk dismissal.
The police force has a total of 377,000 men and
officers at that time. “Most of the police
escorts and orderlies were assigned illegally,” he
The Federal Executive Council in March 2009,
directed the withdrawal of police personnel
attached to Nigerians who were not entitled to
such privileges.
On August 19, 2015, President Muhammadu
Buhari ordered the then Inspector-General
Solomon Arase to withdraw cops attached to
dignitaries and redeploy them to regular police
More than two years later, both the police
authorities and the dignitaries seemed to have
defied this directive. The police officers remain
on their illegal duties and they were never
delisted and no dignitary was prosecuted for
keeping a cop as escorts illegally.
Public officials entitled to escorts
Political and public office holders entitled to
special police security include the President,
Vice President, Chief Justice of Nigeria,
governors, deputy governors, Secretary to the
Government of the Federation and Head of
Service of the Federation.
Others are ministers, president of the Court of
Appeal, justices of the Supreme Court, judges of
the Court of Appeal, Chief Judge and Grand
Khadi of a state, president of the Customary
Court of Appeal, chairman of a local
government/area council, vice chairman of a
local government/area council and chairman of
the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission
Also entitled to police guards are President of
the Senate, Deputy President of the Senate,
Speaker of the House of Representatives,
Deputy Speaker of the House of
Representatives, Speakers of State Houses of
Assembly and Deputy Speakers of State Houses
of Assembly.
Force Headquarters keeps mum
For more than one week, this reporter tried to
obtain comment from the police spokesperson
Moshood for the story. Moshood didn’t answer
several calls to his mobile nor replied text
messages sent to him.
In only one occasion, someone who said he was
Moshood assistant answered the phone and
said the spokesperson “was attending a meeting
but will get back to you.” But subsequent calls
and reminders to the mobile of the police image
maker were left unanswered.

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