The deficit of trust between security personnel and the public is all too common.  The loss of public trust is happening all around the globe. This is affecting relations among the people and the government, as well as, other institutions. The citizens are entitled to feel safe and secure and protected in their daily lives. When this is not attained and the system that is supposed to secure and protect is now part of the threat, trust will be lost.

In Nigeria, contact between security personnel and the ordinary man are characterized by anxiety and fear. This is part of the reason why there is a low level of trust. This poses a broader implication for security, as well as limits public cooperation. The distrust is bone deep in the ordinary to challenge any entity that represents or symbolizes security authority of any kind.

The prevalent question is, what can be done to amend the relationship?

  • The first path to trust is “Fairness”. The security sector should practice fairness in all of its endeavors, as this will uphold its integrity and honor. It will also strengthen accountability and transparency.
  • Ensure the security institutions deliver effective and real benefits for people and the society.
  • Ensure the institutions work for society’s greater good.
  • The institutions should also engage the citizens by solving community and societal challenges.
  • Ensure social inclusion by repairing past issues of the society with confidence to deliver conclusive equality. The issue is connected to including provision of equal opportunity, controlling gender inequality and removing racial attitude.
  • Establishing real and genuine commitment with the citizens.

Tackling security threats in Nigeria involves clarifying the structure of command and oversight, strengthening merit-based hiring and promotion, as well as better regulating of the private security providers. Above all, improve the level of public trust because low level of public trust inhibits the cooperation needed to be effective against societal based threats.