Nigeria’s police forces are famously ineffective and unpopular. Police agencies carry the dual stigma of having colonial origins and close connections to the military dictatorships that ruled Nigeria in its first forty years of independence. Despite their poor reputation, there is little political will to reform policing and virtually none to abolish it. This piece traces how the police are embedded in Nigerian society and politics, in order to understand why widespread dislike of a police force does not necessarily lead to calls for its dissolution.
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