Insecurity: Nigerians shun Police ‘Rescue Me’ app

ALMOST three years after the Nigerian Police Force launched its ‘Rescue Me’ application, data analysed by The ICIR have shown that not up to one per cent of internet users in Nigeria have the application installed on their mobile phones.

This is amid the rising insecurity challenges ranging from various forms of attacks, kidnapping and killing across the country. 

In 2021, the Nigerian Police Force launched the “Rescue Me” mobile application that enables the public to enjoy a rapid response by the Police to crimes and emergencies.

The app, developed to tackle insecurity in Nigeria using technology, uses internet services and global position satellite (GPS)-based for accurate location of victims.

The application is available on the Android Google Play store and Apple store. 

However, checks by The ICIR showed that not more than 60,000 people downloaded the app. This is just 0.05 per cent when compared to the number of internet users in Nigeria. 

The ICIR calculated the percentage by dividing the number of downloads from the Play Store by the number of Nigerians with internet connections. 

As of 2023, data from the data reportal showed that 193.9 million cellular mobile connections were active in Nigeria. Of this number, 122.5 million were internet users, out of which 31.60 million Nigerians were social media users. 

Apps
Number of Users
Facebook 21.75 million
YouTube 31.60 million
Instagram 7.10 million
Facebook Messenger 3.50 million
LinkedIn 7.50 million
Snapchat 12.35 million
Twitter 4.95 million
Police Rescue Me
Less than 60,000
Table showing the number of social media app users and the Police ‘Rescue Me’ app downloads in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, data gathered from the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED) revealed that 8,734 Nigerians were reportedly killed in various insecurity incidents in 2023. 

The ICIR reported how over 7,000 people were killed in violent attacks across Nigeria within the first ten months of 2023. Also, another report analysed how over 380 persons were kidnapped between December 1, 2023, and January 3, 2024. 




    Police PRO reacts

    The Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, told The ICIR that awareness and sensitisation to download the app are usually carried out by the Police Force, but the nonchalant attitude of Nigerians caused more harm than good in solving insecurity issues in the country. 

    He said, “We have made the necessary announcement about it. It is a voluntary thing. It is not compulsory, but I think it is of benefit to everyone’s safety in Nigeria. We can’t force them to download it even though it is free.”

    In 2022, Adejobi said the NPF received 10,122 fake emergency alerts from Rescue Me App.

     

    Kehinde Ogunyale tells stories by using data to hold the government into account. Shoot him a mail at [email protected] or Twitter: Prof_KennyJames

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