By David Odama
ABUJA—LAFIA—Governors from the five North- central states, traditional rulers and other stakeholders yesterday adopted community policing as a complimentary mechanism for securing the country.
The decision to adopt community policing was reached at the North central zonal security submit held in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital.
Stakeholders at the summit however disagreed with the Federal government position against the establishment of security outfits to compliment the efforts of the conventional police saddled with the statutory responsibility of securing the citizens and their properties.
In a communiqué issued at the end of a one day Security meeting in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital, the state governors also agreed to engage traditional and community leaders to assist the police in the selection process of community policing officers to be recruited to work within the communities.
The communiqué noted that “each state within the north central geopolitical zone will individually and periodically undertake operations against crimes and criminality in synergy with the police and other security agencies. Similarly, each state under the zone is to develop modalities for sharing intelligence with other states on the movement and activities of criminals within the zone.”
The North Central Governors also resolved that “each state within the zone shall increase its investment in social intervention programmes aimed at providing legitimate and alternative means of livelihood for the teeming youths, especially the repentant criminals.”
Earlier, while addressing the summit, governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State, noted among others that, “Strategic Partnership for Effective Community Policing in the North-Central Zone/Federal Capital Territory, FCT, was in line with the commitment of President Buhari’s administration to address the security challenges in the country.”
Sule who lamented that Nasarawa State and other states within the zone witnessed serious challenges, occasioned by the spill-over of the herdsmen/farmers crisis in the neighbouring Benue State arising from the introduction and implementation of the Anti-open Grazing Law in November had left Nasarawa State with influx of people to contend with from the crises areas, including herdsmen and Tiv farmers with their families and cattle into the State.
According to him, “As we speak, the Tiv farmers are camped in about 20 Internally-Displaced Persons, IDPs, camps at our border communities with Benue State, leading to overstretching of our facilities, in addition to the provision of food items and medical services at the IDPs camps.
“In this wise, Nasarawa State Government, in collaboration with other stakeholders, found lasting solution to the internal lingering crises in the State with the establishment of a conflict resolution mechanism with the use of its community policing and have yielded positive results.”