Who let the cops out? Columnist CHIDO NWAKANMA examines the economics of insecurity, and of managing 34,587 cops on election duty in Anambra State.
The statistics around insecurity in Nigeria point to a growing sub-economy. The insecurity economy throws up fascinating numbers that beggar the imagination.
Take the figures for the 6 November 2021 Anambra gubernatorial elections.
The Police claim that they are deploying 34, 587 policemen. IGP Usman Baba asserts “Our election security is designed such that all the three senatorial districts, 21 Local Government Areas, 326 Wards and 5,720 Polling Units across the State will witness adequate security coverage”.
It works out at 11, 529 police officers in each senatorial zone or 1,647 in each Local Government. Or six officers per polling unit.
The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Force is deploying 20, 000 officers. Road Safety 1, 500 personnel, Military Police 300 with three helicopters in the small land space of Anambra. Odiegwu.
The Nigerian Police Force held on to the real numbers. What is the budget for this deployment of officers? In other words, what is the financial provision per officer for this effort to cover the logistics of transportation, accommodation and feeding, out of station allowances? From which locations are they deploying these men?
Where will these men and women stay? Where are they lodging? What are they consuming? Are the local economies feeling the impact of so many persons spending? We can add a similar number to that of the police to represent all the other groups now in Anambra for this election.
The nation should look to the numbers.
Governors were doing so much secrecy with the regular security votes. No accountability. The insecurity economy? Will there be an accounting someday?