Many states asking for community policing can’t pay salaries – Garba Shehu

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Garba Shehu, a presidential spokesman, says a lot of states asking for community policing are unable to cope with salary payment.

There has been a clamour for state policing in some parts of the country, and this had led to the creation of Western Nigeria Security Network codenamed Operation Amotekun in the southwest states.

The federal government had on Thursday approved N13.3 billion for the take-off of community policing in the country.

Appearing on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television show on Tuesday, Shehu was asked why it took long for the approval to be made.

Responding, he said: “For President Muhammadu Buhari, the concern has always been about the spread and abuse of weapons in the hands of police.

“He said repeatedly that, look, a lot of the states that had clamoured for state police, many of them are unable to cope with salary payment. If you hire a community policeman and give him a gun, and keep him for five, six months without salary, what do you expect? Efforts have been taken so that situations of this kind do not arise. So, therefore, there is a standard national procedure and prescription for each of the states to comply with.”

Shehu also said Amotekun cannot operate outside the structures laid down by the police authorities.

“Whatever name they go by, Amotekun or whatever, they will be streamlined and they will be run in accordance with the structure as defined by the inspector-general of police,” he said.

“They will be localised, they will be owned by local communities, they will be managed by them. You know, the constitution of the committee has been defined to include council chairmen, religious leaders, traditional leaders, civil society groups and all of that.

“They can choose their own nomenclature but it doesn’t make a difference. There is a general structure for all state and local council community policing mechanisms and this should abide in the states.

“So, we are going to have a single type structure community policing across the country and whatever is not in line with this does not have a place in the new scheme of things.”

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