The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has said the hierarchy of the Force has come to the realisation that present day law enforcement requires more than the old ways of things, hence its decision to change the face for community policing.
Adamu, represented by the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 11, Leye Oyebade, spoke at the 25th anniversary of the Oodua People’s Congress on Thursday in Lagos.
Adamu said the police was now on the same page with the OPC as far as securing the community is concerned, hence its recent decision to up the level of partnership with the organisation.
Oyebade said at the event put together by the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland and National Coordinator of the OPC, Iba Gani Adams: “This is a goodwill message from the Inspector General of Police….
“The police is changing the face for community policing. And this is the message of hope we are bringing to you all. We are getting policing to the people. And in this process, we are on the same page with the OPC.
“You would have observed that the group has changed its strategy from militancy to diplomacy, authentic dispute resolution. So we have to partner ourselves. In this country today, the political terrain is tough, the economic environment harsh, so the issue of security should not be taken lightly.
“We need to talk with everybody. Like Aare said, we must partner. And in this move, every sector is represented. For instance, we have the Zone 11 Stakeholders Forum.
“Everyone that can bring anything valuable to the table should do it. That is the way forward.”
Elder statesman and Deputy Leader of Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, equally told the gathering that community policing was the only way to go in resolving the insecurity in the country.
Adebanjo said: “The IG should be told the truth about this. There is no other way out.”
He said it remains almost impossible for someone who does not know a terrain well to effectively curtail crime there.
He, however, said the community policing he is talking about is not just arming some people with baton and telling them to go after criminals, but a well funded and armed police team.
He said the police to operate at the community level must not be one influenced by the political class but under a professional. He said the same should be applicable to the federal police.
The Secretary of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, equally backed the call for the swift introduction of community policing.
He, however, said he disagreed with the tag Oyebade gave to the OPC that it had dropped its militancy for diplomacy.
He said both should run together, adding that when the need for diplomacy arises, it should be used, while the door for militancy should not be shut.
Odumakin said: “OPC should maintain its vibrancy. Diplomacy good, but OPC should also apply vibrancy where necessary.”
He also called for justice to be done in the case of the killing of three operatives of the Inspector General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team by soldiers of 93 Battalion of the Nigerian Army “instead of engaging in useless investigation.”