Igbo Community Policing and Its Relevance for Contemporary Nigeria
Community policing is neither foreign nor novel to Africa. Long before the coming of the Europeans, the traditional Igbo society of what is now Southeastern Nigeria (Igboland) had devised means for curbing and preventing crime, using primarily the age grade system and masquerade secret society. These approaches were very effective in enabling the pre-colonial Igbo society not only in fighting crime, but also in preventing it. However, modern governance systems have generally replaced traditional systems, even when the latter were very effective. Given the current security challenges in contemporary Nigerian society, there is a need to revisit this model of community policing for the purpose of preventing and curbing crimes such as terrorism, insurgency, armed robbery, commercial hostage taking, militancy and oil theft. This chapter suggests strategies for adapting Igbo community policing to present-day Nigeria.