Issues in Policing the Benue Province: Towards Understanding and Mitigating Contemporary Insecurity in Central Nigeria


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships




Are there lessons to be learned from the policing organizations and methods employed in the Benue Province during the colonial period? Examining this history reveals dynamics that caused increasing insecurity in the polity and the seeming inability of the police to cope. Insecurity has manifested itself in conflict between ethnic groups in Central Nigeria and other constituencies in Nigeria. The colonial police managed security using social and cultural indices in conjunction with focused leadership. Their methods could contain answers for managing current insecurity problems, and even provide an example for other parts of Africa with a high density of ethnic groups. Using primary and secondary sources, the project studies colonial-period Benue police methods in order to understand contemporary insecurity in Central Nigeria.