A retired Inspector General of Police, Sunday Ehindero has appealed to operatives of the South West Security Network (Amotekun corps) to strictly adhere to the country’s constitution that forbids them from bearing fire-arm in the course of their operation.
Ehindero said the regional Corps was to be an information and intelligence gathering outfit rather than an arm carrying one, stressing that the law that established the outfit doesn’t make provision for it to be arm-bearing.
The former IGP advised that the Corps should key into the community policing and work in synergy with the Special Constables and the Police Force in order to combat insecurity at the grassroots.
The former IGP spoke at the Community Policing Sensitisation and Awareness Campaign held in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, on Monday where the state Police Command showcased the newly recruited 320 Special Constable who would serve as community police in the state.
Ehindero who headed the Police Force from 2005 to 2007 said men of Amotekun should not be hasty to bear arm, appealing to them to exercise patience until the constitution is amended.
He said “For now, I can’t say. May be in the future, they are not allowed by the law to carry fire-arm.
“They should key into community policing and constant give information to the police. When Amotekun is launched, they will collaborate and cooperate with the police and they will bring intelligence”.
” Amotekun can go where the police can’t go and when they bring the information, the police will definitely work on it.
He added, “All I’m saying is that Amotekun, for now, until the constitution is amended, they should key into community policing and bring its intelligent gathering prowess to the use of the police”.
In his remark, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone II, Ahamed Iliayasu argued that crime and criminality could better be fought and won when the police rest their ability to gain community support than the use of force and lethal.
Iliyasu stressed that the only way to enhance community policing was to improve the behaviour, attitude and relationship with members of the public.
He said “Our officers and men must be approachable, accessible, available and committed to assisting the community.
“They must know and be known by the public, engage and mobilise the communities and listen to the communities, concerns.”
Speaking at the sensitization programme, the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, reiterated the commitment of his administration to ensure a safer Ogun by giving the necessary support to the police and other security agents.
The governor, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Shuaib Salisu, appreciated the police for coming up with the idea of community policing, saying the recent #EndSARS protest has proven that there must be cooperation and synergy between the people and the police.