By Festus Ahon, Asaba
GOVERNOR Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, yesterday decried the high rate of crime in the country, insisting that the job of security was too serious, too important and too demanding to be left to law enforcement agencies alone.
Okowa who stated this while inaugurating two committees on community policing in the State, said the decision to set up the committees was in response to yearnings of citizens for local policing apparatus to check rising security challenges in the state.
The committees are; State Community Policing Advisory Committee (SCPAC) and State Community Policing Committee (SCPC).
He explained that raising the committees was to deepen the security architecture in the state to enable insecurity issues to be nipped in the bud. He added that the committees would help to bolster community policing to check criminal activities and assist the Police and other security agencies to provide and ensure the sustainability of a crime-free society.
Okowa said, “the last six weeks or so have been very tasking and challenging, not just with the existential threats posed by the COVID-19 global pandemic but also of emerging security risks confronting the various federating units.
“Notwithstanding the steady progress made by this administration in partnership with relevant security agencies to ensure the peace and safety of individuals, communities and public property in the state, there is a compelling need to continually deepen and expand our security architecture in such a manner that we are able to preempt and arrest any untoward development.
“Of weighty consideration in this regard is the necessity to bolster our community policing apparatus as the monsters of farmers/herdsmen clashes, cultism, small arms and light weapons proliferations, kidnapping, armed robbery, and other violent crimes appear to be on the resurgence.
“Urgent steps are, therefore, required to avert a possible breakdown of law and order. It is axiomatic that the security of any state or nation is a shared responsibility between the Government, law enforcement agencies and the people.
“And, as I have always said, the job of security is too serious, too important and too demanding to be left to law enforcement agencies alone.
“Community policing provides us with a strong platform to leverage on this partnership. Through the collaboration of the police, the people and the Government, it enables us to improve the processes and structures that engender peace-building, preserve our collective security, enhance the credibility of our criminal justice system and deliver better policing services.”
He recalled that community policing was the subject of the South-South Security Summit held in Asaba in November, 2019 under the auspices of the Inspector-General of Police.
The governor explained that the inauguration of the committees, therefore, was one of the many steps his administration was taking to build on the momentum generated at the Summit.
He noted that members of the committees reflected the qualities of professionalism, character, competence, leadership, maturity, experience and diversity expected of such a high-powered assemblage, saying it could not be otherwise because it was an urgent state assignment that requires sacrifice, dedication, tact and wisdom.
Expressing confidence on members of the committees, he said “I trust in the abilities of these men to liaise with not just the police but all relevant stakeholders in order to advise, identify and nip problems in the bud before they escalate into full blown security challenges.