n African Journal of Rhetoric - The police, protest behaviour and Nigeria's emergent democracy - beyond the rhetoric of colonial inheritance

Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1998-2054


The challenge of every worthy democracy is to grow, not negatively, but in the positive direction, that allows a virile order to thrive. This would imply that citizens interrogate the day-to-day management of their public affairs in order to task their leadership to respond to their demands. The State, then, in a democracy should not stifle public opinion, protests and criticism. For these indispensable elements of a virile democracy defines the features that provide the much desired dynamism and the galvanizer for effective political participation in any properly so called democratic social process. However, experiences with the Police in the Nigerian State appear to suggest these elements as utterly provocative and antidemocratic. As a result, Police reaction to public protestations, criticisms and dissent, provide perturbing credentials to the logic of a meaningful participation in a democratic order. Perhaps this prompting stems from an inability to transcend the stigma of that tradition of coercion that defines its colonial inheritance. The paper, therefore, critiques the problematic of police embeddedness in coercion in an African State. In challenging the dominant orientation of sustained coercive inheritance, the contention of this paper is that the institution is in dire need of urgent overhaul for an orientation suitable to the building and maintaining of a virile democratic culture in post transition Nigeria.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error