Stories by Stanley Onyekwere
Ahead of the Christmas and New Year celebrations, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has intensified its mobilization and sensitization campaign to prepare residents for the task of working much more closely with the police for the security of their communities.
The campaign, which is a proactive move to get FCT residents, particularly those at the rural areas across the various chiefdoms of the FCT, to participate more in securing the territory.
According to the Minister of State for the FCT, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, who flagged-off the exercise in Apo, Abuja, penultimate week, the world has witnessed a steady decline in security, and the trend has also impacted negatively on the country, with the Territory having its own fair share.
She stressed that while the FCT Administration has noted the efforts of the law enforcement agencies in stemming the tide of insurgencies, kidnapping and crime, it also noted the apparent lack of awareness, support and effective collaborations of people in the fight against insecurity and crime in various communities.
This, she explained made it imperative to create the needed awareness, and mobilize those at the grassroots towards community policing.
Represented by her Special Assistant on Agriculture, Rasaq Oyeleke, the minister said that it was important that “we joined hands to ensure the security of lives and property, as security was everybody’s business.
“We all needed to redouble our efforts in order to keep pace with the schemes of these enemies of peace because without security, we would not have the environment to pursue our legitimate aspiration, raise our children and have the rest of mind needed for a happy life.
“And therefore I would urge the people to be vigilant enough to see something; say something and do something, as community policing was the answer.
Commending the efforts and foresight of the Area Council Services Secretariat in organizing the campaign, the minister also said that the Administration was very appreciative of the roles security agencies were playing in keep the Territory safe, just as she also expressed gratitude to the Area Councils chairmen.
Similarly, Secretary, Area Council Services Secretariat, Hon. Yahaya Ibrahim Gwagwa, explained that community policing was a concerted effort by the civilian population, the police and other law enforcement agencies to guarantee security and protection of lives and property.
Urging parents to retrain their children and wards from being used as political thugs to cause trouble, Hon. Gwagwa observes that “some of the masterminds of the 2012 Christmas bombings, as well as the perpetrators of the Nyanya bombings all lived in our midst” before the events took place.
He therefore stressed the need for all to work together with the police and other security bodies to secure themselves and their environment.
In particular, the Secretary solicited the continued support of the Council Chairmen, the Chiefs, community and religious leaders and youths, among other groups for the success of the sensitization campaign.
Also, Assistant Director in charge of security services in the FCTA, Gabriel Ogbonna, who represented Director of Security Services, in a paper titled: “The role of community policing in ensuring peace and security”, noted that community policing involves informal security actors such as vigilante and neighbourhood watch, among others who contribute in the crucial role of keeping community safe.
According to him, it is very important for trust to be built in such a situation, and that responsibility, accountability and mutual respect must remain watch word among the groups coming together if they were to succeed.