By Lawrence Olaoye
In a development suggesting an alteration of the nation’s security architecture, the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has said that the federal government was working on adopting the system of community policing to address the challenge of kidnapping and banditry across the country.
According to a statement made available to newsmen yesterday by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, Osinbajo gave the hint yesterday while commiserating with Pa Reuben Fasoranti, whose daughter, Mrs. Funke Olakunrin, was killed by gunmen a few days ago in Ondo state.
Osinbajo stressed that the government was making concerted efforts to tackle the country’s security challenges to ensure protection of lives and property.
Condemning the killing, Osinbajo prayed God to comfort the family, noting that Government and security agencies will ensure the killers are brought to book.
The Vice President who was approached by journalists after condoling with the Fasoranti and Olakunrin families in Ondo stated that “this is a massive tragedy as you can imagine, and we have seen it precipitated here and there, kidnappings and death. By and large, we are looking at the whole security architecture and trying to upscale the security architecture, to ensure that we are able to protect the lives and property of Nigerians.”
“We can be hopeful that we will see peace and calm as some of the steps we are taking come into fruition. As you all know, I have met with the Governors in the Southwest and Governors in the different zones, everybody is coming together to look at what to do to ensure that security is adequate and that everyone feels safe and secure.”
Speaking further, the Vice President emphasized the importance of community policing to prevent the occurrence of such dastardly crimes.
He said, “As you know, the President, very recently, met with the Service Chiefs, and also with the Inspector General of Police, and they have laid out a new policy on Community Policing. One of the most important things in these sorts of crimes, because they are largely economic crimes, is that people are trying to make money by kidnappings.
“One of the most important things is gathering intelligence and that is why we have Community Policing; where policemen will be trained in their own local governments and remain there. This is as close as we can get to the Community Policing structure that we expect to have.
“The other thing is that we are also engaging the Army, so there will be a bit more military presence, especially along the roads and as you’ve heard, the Inspector General of Police has committed to full coverage with even helicopters, first in the search for the killers, and also to ensure adequate presence to deter this kind of terrible situation from recurring.”
While noting the challenges of security in a hugely populated and dynamic country like Nigeria, the Vice President said the government will continue to take dynamic measures to tackle the challenges to secure lives and property.