Governor Godwin Obaseki has restated his administration’s commitment to partner with the police to ensure the success of community policing.
Obaseki stated this on Thursday in Benin while declaring open a one-day Community Policing Geo-Political Sensitisation Conference of the South-South geo-political zone.
The governor, represented by the Deputy Governor, Mr Philip Shaibu, said that the problem of Nigeria was building individuals, rather than institutions.
He added that strengthening institutions was a panacea to security challenges bedevilling the country.
Obaseki, therefore, said that institutions must be strengthened for a better Nigeria.
The governor noted that if the government’s responsibility was to protect life and property, then the government must protect life and property.
According to him, the state is also committed to the idea of state police and Nigerians need to make the idea work.
The governor, however, called on the media to always balance their news and ensure that the steps being taken to surmount security challenges were given front page and banner headlines than supposed successes by criminals.
Earlier, the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, said that community policing was designed to set in motion a new partnership and collaboration between the people and the police.
He noted that with the current spate of insecurity in the country a combined effort was the way to go.
Adamu said that community policing was a problem-solving and crime-solving technique that was people-oriented.
According to him, there is no better time to operate the system than now.
Represented by Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of zone 6, Mr Zaki Ahmed, the IG said that any nation that desired stable security must crave an efficient police institution and system.
He stressed that critical to this was the need to emplace a policing orientation that retained the trust and partnership of the citizens.
The IG said that it was, therefore, imperative of the police to, of necessity, secure the willing and cooperation of the public.
He added that the police intended to secure and maintain public respect in order to cope with current and emerging threats in attaining its internal security mandate.
Earlier, Dr Issa Aremu, one of the facilitators of the event, stressed the need for Nigerians to stop agonizing and rather start organising.
According to Aremu, the community must return to the police and police must return to the community.
He noted that presently, the staff strength of the Nigerian Police Force is 350,000, adding that there was the need to recruit more personnel as well as increase funding for the force.
Aremu stated that it was in view of this that volunteers, otherwise known as special constabularies, were recruited and trained as parts of an effort to secure communities.
He said that the essence of the conference was for stakeholders to key into the idea and take the challenges of security more seriously.