Cablegate: Nigeria/Police Reform: First Quarter Report

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.





DOJ FOR ICITAP -- Eric Beinhart

E.O. 12958: N/A

1.(SBU) SUMMARY: Progress in implementing the INL/ICITAP
Police Reform project in Nigeria has been encouraging,
particularly given the past challenges in starting the
project. A collaborative foundation among ICITAP advisors
and GON partners has been built and the forecast for
training and change management activities is good, provided
that commitments made to date by GON counterparts are
realized. END SUMMARY

Building Relationships

2.(SBU) The ICITAP Police Advisor/Project Manager arrived
at Post in mid-August, along with two Jos-based ICITAP
technical advisors (contractors) and immediately began
building working relationships with senior Police managers
at Police Headquarters in Abuja and the instructor training
center in Jos. ICITAP staff has found a key partner in
Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Musa Abdulkadir,
who overseas all of the Police Training schools and
administration of the training curriculum. Abdulkadir
agrees with the USG project's goals of change in Police
training and has provided crucial, efficient support to the
ICITAP team. Support at the Central Planning and Training
Unit (CPTU) in Jos -- charged with training of Police
Trainers and updating the various Police curricula -- has
been less even, though new instructors are eager to work
with ICITAP in implementing the new Basic Recruit
curriculum. The Director of the CPTU has just been removed
and the Deputy Inspector General for Training guarantees
the ICITAP PA/PM that the new Director will be more
motivated to his task of training reform.

3.(SBU) Inspector General of Police (IG) Tafa Balogun
supports the project in principle but has not been as
active as he could be. From numerous candid accounts by
his staff, Balogun apparently remains suspicious of USG
intentions and reluctant to quickly and fully embrace
comprehensive reforms in Nigeria Police management.

4.(SBU) The immediate work goals of reviewing and
redesigning the basic recruit curriculum and instructor
development curriculum have been achieved. ICITAP
technical advisors assigned to work the NP's CPTU staff in
Jos have designed curricula for both basic recruits and the
instructors who train those recruits. Jos has proven a
good base from where current and future training efforts
can be centralized. At the CPTU facility on the Jos
Police College campus, ICITAP has an office with computers,
training aides, and a photocopier -- all with generator
support. Operating costs are lower than elsewhere in the
country and the College campus offers a ready learning
center where officers can reside while receiving training
or working with ICITAP on additional curricula reforms.

Next Step: Kaduna

5.(SBU) The ICITAP Facility in Jos will serve to train
basic recruit instructors there and conduct elections
security training and the CDM training for the Jos unit
(both discussed below). Completion of the basic recruit
curriculum, however, allows the project to move to the next
planned phase of direct training of a new batch of basic
recruits at the Kaduna Police College, to be carried out by
two ICITAP trainers overseeing newly trained NP instructors
at that College. Currently, a batch of 500 new recruits
enters the College each month for a training course of six
months. Few recruits fail their basic training, in order
to satisfy the Federal Government's order for a nationwide
recruitment drive of 40,000 new recruits each year.
Complementing this effort will be a Field Officer training
activity to prepare the front-line supervisors of the
recruits who will graduate and be posted to Kaduna. A six-
to eight-month presence in Kaduna by two long-term advisors
is envisioned.

6.(SBU) Kaduna Police officials, including the Commandant
of the Police College and the Commissioner of Police for
the State, have voiced their support for the project's
goals in Kaduna. Kaduna State Governor Makarfi has
supported this effort since he was first briefed two years
ago; he reaffirmed this commitment in a meeting with the
Ambassador, RNLEO and ICITAP Project Manager on December

Civil Disorder Training . . in time for elections?
--------------------------------------------- -----

7.(SBU) Second year funding for the project includes
activities for elections security ($250,000) and Civil
Disorder Management (CDM) training. Both have been moved
to the front of the queue for implementation before other
activities funded in the project's first fiscal year in
order to have impact, albeit very limited, on security
during the local and national elections scheduled for March
and April 2003. Elections security training will take
place in early January 2003 for 80 NPF trainers -- two from
each of the countries 36 states and the Federal Capital
Territory and four from the CPTU. This will be two weeks
of training on the precepts of controlling polling stations
to prevent disorder. This is distinct from the more
operational training of the Civil Disorder Management

8.(SBU) Civil Disorder Management training to build
demonstration units in key urban areas with records of
civil unrest had been planned as part of the project
independent of the upcoming elections. However, we hope to
commence training four units -- agreed to by the NP
managers -- in late January, contingent upon arrival in-
country of equipment to be provided to these units. ICITAP
Trainers will visit Jos, Kaduna and Kano to offer four
weeks of intensive training of newly created CDM units of
50 policemen/women each. A double-size unit of 100 will be
trained in Lagos for the CDM unit there. The ICITAP
curriculum developed for this training is in line with ICRC
and UNHCR standards and will emphasize minimal use of force
-- without the lethal tools that most Police currently use
on crowd control situations. If the schedule is
maintained, the four units will be ready for deployment in
late March -- in time for the national elections and
perhaps in time for the local elections.

9.(SBU) Key to the success of these units is that they will
operate largely independent of conventional police units
around them and will use amended Police Force Orders.
(Note: Current Force Orders authorize excessive use of
force to break up riots and crowds. End Note) Once trained
on responsible techniques for handling unrest with
restraint and accountability, these units should not be
faced with contradicting orders from commanding officers.

Change Management -- the Toughest Challenge

10.(SBU) The ICITAP Advisor has been able to build an
increasingly firm base of Police support for training
efforts and revisions to basic recruit training and
operations (e.g. Civil Disorder Management). However,
acceptance of fundamental changes in the management and
oversight of the Police is hard to find. The IGP seems
resistant to the planned activity of creating a Police
Modernization Committee composed of key stakeholders in
Police reform (the Police, NGOs, the media, community
groups, the National Assembly and the Police Service
Commission) to offer guidance and oversight to the process
of reform.

11.(SBU) We see the fledgling Police Service Commission,
inaugurated in late 2001 and mandated by the Constitution,
as key to prodding the Nigeria Police toward reform.
Assistance to help build the PSC's capacity will be
provided with FY02 ESF. Key to the success of the change
management efforts of our project will be the forging of a
productive relationship between the Police hierarchy and
the PSC and among the two and other stakeholders in the
Police Reform process. It is too early to gauge the
prospects for this success.

Sustainability -- the Key Issue

12.(SBU) Cooperation and commitment from the Police have
been good to this point. The INL/ICITAP project will soon
test the depth of that commitment as it advances to the
next stage of demanding change in the deployment and
behavior of personnel trained under the new curriculum
developed and implemented jointly by ICITAP and NPF
instructors. An example of this test will be the desire
that most or all of the 500 new recruits to be trained (a
six month period) at the Kaduna College be deployed within
Kaduna City -- a break from traditional practice of
deploying new recruits throughout the country -- and
allowed to operate along the newly designed guidelines
developed through the Field Officer training activity. If
these requirements are met, this Kaduna deployment has a
high chance of success and could in Phase Two of the
project be replicated in the other three Police Colleges of
the country.

13.(SBU) While the lack of funding and equipment are
serious deficiencies, some of the other problems
undermining the performance of the Nigeria Police are based
in the outdated curricula and regulations of the Force and
in the attitudes of senior managers. Too many senior
Police officers and outside policy-makers believe the
solution lies within increased recruitment of police
personnel and the provision of additional equipment.
Acknowledging the priority of improving the quality of new
recruits and their training and reform of the procedures
governing those new recruits' behavior (including the
acceptance of outside accountability) will be a long-term
process but a process essential for these efforts to take
and hold.

© Scoop Media

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