When we say reform the Police, who are we looking to carry this out? Is it the current leadership of the Police Force who like the past leadership, encouraged and sustained this culture? Or, is it the Executive who haven’t shown a reforming mindset and approach for the 5 years in office so far?
Only reformers can carry out reforms because they are the only ones with the qualities needed to undertake reforms. They are also very few in number while the majority of citizens are deep into the current Nigerian way of life.
To be a reformer:
1. You must have a deep burning desire to change things. The sort of desire that consumes you and it will not rest until you’re undertaking the reform.
2. You must give your life totally to the cause and course of the reform. It requires total commitment and that commitment will be well tested.
3. You must have a specific sector in mind. You can’t go far if your target is not specific.
4. You must have a growing and up to date knowledge about the specific sector, you seek to reform. You must love to study, do research, listen to your generation, the past generation and the younger generation. You must have the content needed to deliver reforms for our peculiar needs and situation.
5. You must have a proven record of delivering at some scale so that it is not all talk. Preferably, you’re working in your specific sector and are proving your capacity there.
6. You must love people and have a compassionate heart that feels the suffering of the most Nigerians. This means, it is not just your head that is in it but your heart is also sold out to the task.
7. You must be courageous because you will be confronting age-long mindsets all fighting to maintain the status quo.
8. You must be uncompromising. This doesn’t mean you’re not willing to change or amend your approach but you must be one who doesn’t shift on values, irrespective of the person asking you to.
9. You must not seek to be liked or be popular. A reformer is easily misunderstood and massively hated while undertaking reforms. When the pains of the reforms (reforms are painful at first) begin to shift to gains, support will increase. At the initial stage, only a tiny number of citizens see where you’re going.
10. You must be willing to pay the high cost of sacrifice. That may include your life but will certainly include losing friends & family, your privacy, sufficient time with family, the good things of life, etc. You must accept the selfless and humble role of a servant and focus on serving.
I will be deliberate to stop at 10 qualities because these are the core ones though there are more qualities.
So, when we say Police reforms, can we say we have some senior officers with these qualities? I genuinely believe we do just like I believe we also have reformers in politics, government (the executive, legislature and judiciary) education, health and all other sectors.
What then is the problem? The reformers need to be chosen for the role and given full backing by the one with executive powers. Every reform (few as they are) we have experienced in this country has required the backing of the person in Aso Rock.
To reform any government sector or agency, the President has to careful search for the reformer inside or outside the organisation, appoint him or her (irrespective of region or religion), trust the person, give the person access to him, privately and publicly fully back the reformer, keep away distractors/interferers and provide the tools needed to succeed.
That reformer will build a team of reformers, implement the reforms and put into the organisation a culture that will remain after they leave. They will require sufficient time of at least 6-8 years because it takes time to institute and implement fully the reforms and the culture required.
The summary of all these are two – we will not experience reforms in all sectors (particularly critical ones like the Police and NNPC) until we have a reformer in Aso Rock. It will require a reformer as the President for reformers to be appointed to lead other sectors.
What we have currently is, many reformers attempt reforms without Executive backing but they get frustrated and are forced to leave or retired broken and unsuccessful. In the process, an endorsement is given to others that if you can beat them, join them.
Secondly, the call for a reformer in Aso Rock is also a call to you and I to develop and begin to show the qualities of a reformer in readiness for the day we will be given that opportunity or the day, we will seize the opportunity that wasn’t given.
We can begin work towards providing the platforms for reformers to emerge as presidential candidates from PDP and APC. The reformers exist in both parties and some of us know them. Ditch the zoning concept and begin to advocate and mobilise support for these crop of candidates.
We must also begin to showcase more of our reformer’s qualities where we are currently. If you’re not where you want to reform, work towards it.
I see some of these qualities of reformers on display in the organisation of the current #EndSars #endpolicebrutality protests. That is an encouraging plus sign.
Let’s take these to the critical sectors.
Are you in? I am.