By AbuSatar Hamed
ABEOKUTA – The Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has said that the need for reform in the police must start with the establishment of the state and community police.
Abiodun stated this on Tuesday, October 27, 2020, at a peace consolidation meeting of stakeholders organised by the state government with the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of the South-West, DIG Adeleye Oyebade.
The governor added that the #EndSARS protest has revealed that the current police structure is overwhelmed, hence the need for the establishment of state and community police.
His words, “The #EndSARS protest has brought to the fore some germane questions about our police system and Administration.
“Apart from excesses of some police officers that are under focus with the #EndSARS protest, there is also the issue of the reform and structure of the police”.
Contributing, DIG Oyebade stressed that community policing would close the gap between the people and the police.
He disclosed that the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, had began the process of reforming the police, saying, “the reform you (youths) are clamouring is already on the table, the reform is now and the IGP is already doing just that.
“I happen to be in charge of research and planning and community policing is under my purview; I’m telling you already, the community policing is going to involve all of you. We want it to be community-driven and the youths are the highest number in the community, so we have to bring you into the position to contribute your quota. I’m assuring you that community policing is going to address all these issues you have raised here today.
“The way forward is community policing so that we can close gap with members of the public, especially the youths. The way forward is community policing so that we can get the challenges that are affecting your progress in community policing in your areas.
“The way forward is community policing so that we can get your ideas and use them to plan how we can police you better, the way forward is community policing so that we can collaborate and corporate with ourselves.
“No man is an Island; two, three good heads are better than one. We want you to understand that we are coming with a new strategy. It is a new era, it a new dawn, it is a new beginning for the Nigerian police.”
Oyebade continued, “You are invited as youths, all the critical stakeholders will be invited to come onboard to work with us so that we can get to the Promised Land.
“We are going to work together with our sister security agencies, the Nigerian police is the lead agency when it comes to internal security. We are going to work together in synergy and the strategy is to carry the community along to ensure peace is restored in our society.
“For now we should stop all the damages, all the vandalisation of critical infrastructure that government have put in place please let us stop all these vandalisation.
“Arsonists should not come and destroy what the government is doing. The protesters are different from the criminals, the protesters are different from the arsonists. The government of the day is ready to listen to your requests, but we must separate those that are coming to destroy the properties and that is why I’m here to tell you that the strategy the government of Ogun state is using is working.
“I want to ask the governor and his lieutenants to please continue with this engagement”.
The duo of Abiodun and Oyebade who harped on the need for community policing submited that the sweeping #EndSARS protest in the country has necessitated the involvement of the grassroots in security apparatus of the country.
According to them, Nigeria is ripe enough for community policing, pointing out that only community policing can address the demands of the youths.
The meeting, which was held at the Arcade Ground of the Governor’s Office, Oke Mosan, Abeokuta, had in attendance traditional rulers, members of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), security agencies, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), religious leaders, students, among others.