By Musa Baba Adamu
The Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, has reiterated the need for a reform mechanism that would improve citizens’ trust in the Nigeria Police for the intent and purpose of community policing to be achieved.
Fayemi stated this during a stakeholders’ forum on community policing, involving heads of security agencies, public servants, politicians, civil society organisations, youth and women organisations, heads of government institutions, trade and professional groups in Ado-Ekiti at the weekend.
The Ekiti State Governor spoke, just as a former Inspector General of Police, Sunday Ehindero urged stakeholders to support the holistic establishment of community policing to tackle the menace of banditry, kidnapping and other security challenges bedevilling the Country.
Fayemi who stated that community policing is vital to addressing security challenges in the country, however, lamented the non-implementation of a wide range of recommendations made at different conferences on how the Nigeria Police can be reformed in the last 20 years.
The Governor who spoke through the State Attorney- General and Commissioner for Justice, Wale Fapohunda; said the establishment of a police ombudsman with the mandate to receive and address citizens’ complaints against police officers and also address cases of abuse against police officers had become imperative.
He also urged the Federal Government not to despise recommendations made by the Judicial Panel of Inquiry set up in the wake of the End SARS protests with special attention on getting justice and compensations for victims of police abuse.
The Governor also called on the Minister of Police Affairs to engage a reputable audit firm to undertake an audit of the salaries, the wages, allowances of police officers including manpower and equipment available to the police, stressing that a Police officer with a poor condition of service and struggling to survive cannot deliver the purpose of community policing.
Fayemi said “A large number of our people still don’t see police as their friends. So it seems to me that an important way we can get that trust is through police reform. We cannot simply hope to achieve the intent of community policing without police reforms.