By Chinedu Adonu
IN accordance with the Enugu state plan to beef up security, Enugu state Police command and other security agents have commenced training of neighbourhood watch groups in the State to keep them in tune with modern policing techniques and make them more result-oriented.
The programme which will last for 7-days kicked off on Monday, September 16, 2019 and is taking place at Oji River Local Government Area.
Speaking to journalists who visited the training ground at Oji River, the Deputy Commander, Enugu State Neighbourhood Watch, Ernest Ifeme, said the exercise is at the instance of Enugu State government, in line with Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s drive to ensure adequate and wide-range security beef-up across the State.
Ifeme while expressing happiness, informed pressmen that the current phase of the training is for Oji River Council Area.
“We are undergoing a 7-day Police training here to equip us with updated skills on how to function effectively in protecting lives and property of our respective communities, in partnership with the Police.
“The Police, SSS and Civil Defense officers are here and we hear that the army will be here, as well, on a later date. This training phase covers all the 20 wards in Oji River LGA, with 20 neighbourhood men drawn from each ward, totaling 400 of us,” he said.
On his part, the Deputy Training Officer (DTO) of police in charge of Oji River, DSP Okonkwo, told journalists that the training was aimed at inculcating modern Policing skills and practices in the trainees.
Okonkwo who commended State government for the initiative, stated that the programme “will make the neighbourhood men to function like we do,” adding that it will as well help to boost the quality of policing activities in Oji River council area and environs.
He described the progress of the exercise as appreciable, adding, “so far, so good. From what I have observed so far, the result would be fantastic. I think the greatest advantage of this exercise is that it would improve synergy between the Police and the neighbourhood watch men.
“We cannot be everywhere. These men have been of immense assistance to us. Without them, I do not think that the level of security in this area would be up to the present standard. They have been working hand-in-hand with us to improve security and with programmes like this, the security standard in this state will continue to get better”.
According to one of the trainers, Inspector Cyril Awah, the exercise is at general drills stage after which the lecture phase would follow. He said that several resource persons had been lined up to take the trainees through that stage.
“The men are coping appreciably; they are very happy about the training and they are complying impressively. They are in good form, they have exhibited significant potentials and we are certain that this exercise will yield expected results,” he said.
Also speaking, retired DSC of Customs, Emeka Sam Anyalaba, the initiative is commendable and should be copied by the rest Southeast governors. According to Anyalabu, who is the Coordinator of neighbourhood watch in Oji South, through such measure, security challenges would be fully contained in the entire zone.
“With this, governor Ugwuanyi has laid a commendable foundation. I commend his vision and I urge other state governors in the Southeast and beyond to emulate him.
“The trainees exhibit a lot of energy, eagerness and sense of responsibility. They are coping with instructions and I can assure you that after this training, these men would make security management easier. All that is needed to keep it afloat and steady velocity is continued motivation, and they are good to go,” he said.
It would be recalled that governor ugwuanyi recently acquired 360 security vehicles, in furtherance of his firm response to recent security challenges in the state.
While unveiling the vehicles to newsmen at the Government House, the governor had pointed out that they were fully equipped with modern security gadgets, adding that the facilities were part of his administration’s decisive move to firm up security throughout the state.
The vehicles included 100 INNOSON Hillux vans, which the governor said, would be distributed to the principal federal security agencies, as well as 260 Toyota brand space wagons that would be used for community policing/Forest Guard operations, in line with the recent resolutions of the Southeast Governors Forum (SEGF).