A crucial meeting of state governors in the South-West, state police commissioners and the Inspector-General of Police on community policing took place on Thursday at Lagos House, Ikeja.
The meeting came amid plans by the governors to domesticate the operations of the South-Western security outfit codenamed ‘Operation Amotekun’ in their various states.
After the approval of the Amotekun bill by the states’ assemblies, it is expected that Operation Amotekun would operate in different states as a community policing.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the meeting, which was hosted by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu was attended by Chairman of South-West Governors’ Forum, Rotimi Akeredolu and Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu.
Also present were all the Commissioners of Police and heads of other security outfits in the six South-West states, Attorney-Generals and Commissioners for Justice, traditional rulers and Community Development Committee representatives.
Speaking with journalists before the closed-door meeting, Akeredolu said it was time to deploy community policing because of the peculiarity of every state as it was done in advanced countries.
According to him, there is need to embrace community policing because of numerous security challenges which have overstretched the conventional police.
”This is something of great importance to all of us, something we cannot pretend about, we must be honest with ourselves, all of us agree that we are facing security challenges, the National Assembly, the President, nobody is happy with the way things are going.
”We must have a rethink about central police, there is too much on the I-G’s table,” Akeredolu said.
Also speaking, the Inspector General of Police said community policing had to come from the public and not just from the police.
Adamu commended Lagos State Government for the structure put in place in policing the residents and urged other states in the region to emulate Lagos.
”We don’t want everything to be taken to the police to handle, there are issues the Oba in the community can handle,” he said.
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said he was happy that the conversation around community policing started from Lagos and the South-West.
”We are indeed happy that the inspector-General of police deemed it fit that all of the conversation around community policing need to start in Lagos and in South-West.
”We assure the entire Nigerian Police formation that Lagos State Government will continue to give cooperation that is needed to ensure that the entire police force discharge their responsibility and their duties very well,” Sanwo-Olu said.
The governors of Oyo, Ogun, Osun and Ekiti states were represented at the closed-door meeting by their deputies – Rauf Olaniyan, Noimot Oyedele, Benedict Alabi and Bisi Egbeyemi – respectively.