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In the security architecture of modern democratic states, the police play pivotal roles, most especially, in the sphere public order management. In the performance of this important role, the police must be professional, apolitical and above all, loyal to the Constitution of the State. However, while the foregoing ideals are internalised by the police in liberal democracies, the reverse appears to be the case in Africa and other peripheral regions where the police seem more political than professional. It is against this background that this article, drawing on evidence from secondary sources, examines the implications of politicisation of policing for democratic consolidation in democratic Nigeria. It notes that politicisation of policing in the country has its undercurrents in the over-centralized Nigerian state and the attendant struggles that often characterise the struggles to capture it by different factions of the ruling elites. It concludes that as long as the over-centralised state structure which centralises public policing in Nigeria endures, public order management in Nigeria, through the auspices of the Nigeria police, would continue to be politicised.
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