By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
THE Presidency Tuesday said that the sustainable of the community policing arrangement was one of the considerations by the Federal Government as against the State Police being canvassed by some sections of the country.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu disclosed this on Tuesday when he appeared on Channels Television’s Programme, Sunrise Daily.
Shehu said that many of the states agitating for State Police owe salaries and that it could be an additional financial burden to them if government should approve State Police.
Recall that at the last National Economic Council, NEC, virtual meeting coordinated from the office of the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State, while briefing State House correspondents, had announced that the Federal Government approved the sum of N13.3bn for the take-off of community policing initiative across the country.
While faulting the agitation for State Police, Shehu said, “The essence of the government funding at this time is to do two or three things: one is to ensure training for those who are to be recruited to join the police service, two (is) to enlighten the public about the functionality of the new system and three is to procure equipment. But above all is the need to streamline the processes embarked upon by the states and the sub-regions.
“As members of the community, we know ourselves better, we know all the nooks, the crannies, we know who is who and so, therefore, it is not difficult for intelligence to be supplied for effective law and order management in the community.”
Fielding question from the Channels crew on why it took the President some time to approve the community policing, he said, “For President Muhammadu Buhari, the concern has always been about the spread and abuse of weapons in the hands of police.
“He said it repeatedly that, look, a lot of the states that had clamoured for state police, many of them are unable to cope with salary payment. If you hire a community policeman and give him a gun, and keep him for five, six months without salary, what do you expect? Efforts have been taken so that situation of this kind does not arise. So, therefore, there is a standard national procedure and prescription for each of the states to comply with.”
He explained that under the Community Policing arrangement, the Inspector General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu would dictate structure and format the new security structure would take.
He said, “Whatever name they go by, Amotekun or whatever, they will be streamlined and they will be run in accordance with the structure as defined by the Inspector General of Police.
“They will be localised, they will be owned by local communities, they will be managed by them. You know, the constitution of the committee has been defined to include council chairmen, religious leaders, traditional leaders, civil society groups and all of that.
“They can choose their own nomenclature but it doesn’t make a difference. There is a general structure for all state and local council community policing mechanisms and this should abide in the states.”