By; SADIQ ABUBAKAR, Maiduguri
Governor Babagana Umara Zulum of Borno State on Wednesday, reaffirmed his government’s commitment to providing adequate security to lives and property if the citizenry and restore permanent peace in the state.
He also commended the Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba for his intuition and determination in the provision of security and establishing community policing.
Zulum who stated this Wednesday at a 2 day workshop for community policing stakeholders in the North East zone of Adamawa, Bauchi, Taraba, Gombe, Borno and Yobe states, however said community policing is significant and his government will continue to support its strategic policy and operation, while making reference to the complementarity efforts and sacrifices of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) and Vigilante hunters groups that have been complement the efforts if the military in the fight against Boko Haram insurgents.
Represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Usman Jidda Shuwa, Zulum also urged the police to rise up against growing incidences of the forthcoming general elections and electioneerng Campiagn era violence and crime, which are always associated with politicking, noting that, the community policing as stakeholders’ would have a vital role to play in terms of intelligence and coordination of community activities.
He said the state government has even provided soft loan facility to the people and established various skills acquisition centers for numerous programmes as well as supported women and youth in many ways to alleviate their sufferings and make them self reliant as part of his government’s policy and agenda towards addressing unemployment’ to curtail crime in the state.
The Inspector General of Police (IG), Usman Alkali Baba specifically explained that the reason behind the the establishment of community policing and recruitment of stakeholders to contribute their quota willingly as community police vanguards in their respective communities, but they should consider themselves as regular police personnel but volunteers.
He said,’ Community Policing Officers (CPOS) are not regular police operatives. They are recruited under the Supernumerary Police provisions of the Nigeria Police Act and are expected to voluntarily serve their local communities by complementing the Nigeria Police in guaranteeing community safety.”
Represented by the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Logistics and Supply, DIG Mohammed Zanna Ibrahim, he said the strategic community policing stakeholders will operate under the guidance of the local Police Divisions in their communities at LGAs and in compliance with the rules and regulations fusing their operations which informed the workshop inorder for them to have knowledged of their responsibilities in the society.
He explained further that the clarification became necessary following recent recorded cases or incidences where Community Policing Officers
misconstrued their status, limitations, authorities and functions in the discharge of their responsibilities to the extent of engaging in misconduct, which he said, was embarrassing to the NPF and Federal Government.
The IGP also said the workshop was organized to strengthen the capacity of the strategic community policing stakeholders towards ensuring the effectiveness of community policing across the six geo-political zones of the country towards enhancing the stakeholders’ knowledge and boosting intelligence among the members of the country towards tackling crimes and other vices in the society.
He charged them to be attentive and utilize the knowledge their are opportune to get at the workshop which serves as guiding principles and techniques for the strategic community policing stakeholders.
IGP noted that since the commencement of the first phase implementation of the Community Policing Project in Nigeria, lots of grounds have been covered including recruitment, training, kitting and deployment of Community Policing Officers (CPOs) across the country as well as the basic training of strategic actors and stakeholders in the community policing implementation process.
“As a nation, and for us as the lead law enforcement agency in Nigeria, Community Policing is undoubtedly the way to go in the drive to effectively address the complex and challenging dynamics of crime, and mitigate the challenges associated with our current and emerging internal security realities.
” I am, therefore, excited to note that the Community Policing strategy, as approved by the Federal Government, is gradually taking root in Nigeria and is being warmly embraced by our most strategic partners, the Nigerian people,” Usman said.
According to him, the expected outcomes of this workshop, therefore, are for the Community Policing Officers to be sufficiently exposed to quality knowledge on the community policing strategy with a view to acquiring the right leadership frame that will further deepen the implementation of the initiative at local levels across the country.
“Towards this end, in the course of this workshop, participants will be appropriately guided about the role. It is pertinent that I again clarify that community Policing Officers (CPOS) are not regular police operatives.
“They are recruited under the Supernumerary Police
Provisions of the Nigeria Police Act and are expected to voluntarily serve their local communities by complementing the Nigeria Police in guaranteeing community safety.
” They are to operate under the guidance of the local Police Divisions and the ethical and professional standards associated with the Force. This clarification is vital as we have of recent recorded incidences in which such Community Policing Officers misconstrued their status, and the limitations their authorities and functions to embarrass the Federal Government and the Force by advancing unjustifiable requests or behaving in unruly manner.
“While the brains behind such misconducts were promptly identified and dealt with in line with the ethical standards that they are bound by, I consider it essential that I utilize this forum to sound a note of warning to Community Policing Officers to appreciate that their actions should be driven by patriotism and privileges as the force leadership will continue to isolate and firmly deal with any of them that attempts to destabilize the implementation process and gains of the Community Policing initiative of the Federal Government.
“I wish to put on record, once again, the sincere appreciation of President Muhammadu Buhari, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for the presidential wisdom in approving and adopting the Community Policing Model as the internal security strategy of the country and for funding the implementation process.
” Indeed, as I noted in my speech at the Conference and Retreat for Senior Officers of the Force which held recently in Owerri, Imo State, the Community Policing Project represents one of the key achievements for which Mr. President will eternally remembered and honoured when the history of policing and internal security is written.
“I also commend the DIG John Ogbonnaya Amadi, the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Department of Research and Planning and his team for working assiduously towards advancing the implementation of the Project. Today’s event is another eloquent and commendable testimony to this commitment.
“To the workshop participants, you should appreciate that the successful implementation of the Community Policing Project is hugely dependent on your knowledge of the concept your commitment to its implementation, and the leadership you provide towards coordinating the Community Policing Officers and other strategic players who are members of the various implementation Committees in your Commands..
“I, therefore, encourage you all to make best out of the Workshop and utilize outcome towards sharpening your skills in the implementation process of this all-important policing model in the interest of our beloved country.
“On this note, it is my singular honour to welcome you an d to officially declare the Workshop for Community Policing Stakeholders open. I wish you all a fruitful and professionally rewarding engagement”, IGP added.
The Shehu of Borno, HRH, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai El-Kanemi, said the inclusion of the traditional institution in the community policing process underscores the commitment and significance the NPF has given to the traditional council.
Represented by the Zanna Borguma of Borno, Alhaji Mohammed Habib, the Shehu urged the police authority to come out or develop a comprehensive and intelligence gathering policy to help the police track down crimes in the society.
He also suggested for an effective collaboration and synergy between the traditional council and Nigerian Police particularly, on information sharing in the society for the purpose of confidentiality and safety of the informants while making reference to the past traditional council members that were attacked and killed as a result of giving out information about the activities and where about of the Boko Haram terrorists in their communities.
The royal father disclosed also that the training workshop for the stakeholders of community policing was simultaneously being organized across the six geo-political zones of the country, designed to deepen the knowledge of the stakeholders and strengthen the implementation of the Community Policing Model following its approval by President Muhammadu Buhari and adoption by the Federal Government in Year 2020 as an internal security strategy for the country.
The Borno State Commissioner of Police, CP Abdu Umar in his welcome address, thanked the IGP for organizing such a workshop and appreciated the DIG, resource persons, organizers and participants as well as the media for participating in the workshop.