Okowa, Obaseki Inaugurate Community Policing Committees

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and his Edo state counterpart, Godwin Obaseki

The Delta Governor (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa and his Edo counterpart on Friday at separate events inaugurated two different committees on community policing.

The committees are State Community Policing Advisory Committee (SCPAC) and State Community Policing Committee (SCPC).

Okowa, at Asaba said that the inauguration was in response to yearnings of citizens for local policing apparatus to check rising security challenges in the state.

The governor said that raising the committees was to deepen the security architecture in the state to enable insecurity issues to be nipped in the bud.

According to him, the committees will help to bolster community policing to check criminal activities and assist the Police and other security agencies to provide and ensure the sustainability a crime-free society.

The governor 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.’’

Meanwhile, Governor Obaseki, in Benin said that with the inauguration of the Edo State Community Policing Advisory Committee (SCPAC) and Edo State Community Policing Committee (SCPC), the state is set for its Community Policing scheme, which will address security challenges in the state.

“The setting up of the SCPAC and the SCPC marks another step toward the actualisation of grassroots policing system. This will be a model of community policing in Nigeria”, Obaseki said.

According to him, “With the backing of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) for the state’s community policing scheme, we would invest in the training and welfare of security officers for optimal results”.

“The dwindling revenue at all levels of government means that the federal government will have less to fund the Federal Police, hence the need for the community policing model. Our plan as a state government is to integrate community policing arrangement into our existing security structure for maximum result”, the governor added.

BIGPEN recalls that Governors of the South-South states had in early March, agreed to established a regional security outfit in a bid to forestall the increasing criminal activities in the Niger Delta region.

The governors, who met in Asaba, had mandated the BRACED Commission, the economic think-tank of the region, to work out the details of the proposed security outfit.

It was not clear if the committees were part of the process of the establishment of the regional security outfit but Delta Government had few days announced the establishment of a state controlled security outfit christened “Operation Delta Hawk” to check rising insecurity in the state.

The state government said that a Bill would be sent to the House of Assembly to give the independent security outfit legal backing.