Kenedy Tonjo-West, a non-violent youth leader in Bayelsa, has called on the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) to enlist youth groups in the eminent persons forum in the campaign against criminality.
Tonjo-West, President, Niger Delta Youth Leaders Forum, made the call on Sunday in Yenagoa in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
He said that the inauguration of the eminent persons forum had contributed to enhanced confidence of the public on the police.
NAN recalled that on assumption of office, the IGP, Mr Ibrahim Idris established the eminent persons group in all police commands and formations to collaborate with the police and deepen police relations with the public.
Tonjo-West is also Senior Special Assistant to Bayelsa Governor on Niger Delta Youth Matters.
He said that the inclusion of youth groups, who ascribe to the non-violence ideology into the eminent persons forum, would deepen the principle of community policing and help in fighting crime.
He said that the Niger Delta Youths Coalition for Peace and Progress which comprised of non-violent youths, was keen in participating in the eminent persons forum to assist the police in maintaining peace.
He applauded the police authority for screening and profiling of youth groups in the Niger Delta region.
He said the exercise was paying off with fewer cases of vandalism of pipelines in the past six months.
“The concept of eminent person’s forum is a strategic move in democratic policing involving the people who are being policed.
“It should be extended to registered, screened and profiled youth groups.
“Members of such groups must have their biometric data with the police to avoid abuse of the system,” Tonjo-West said.
He said that being the most active in various segments of the society including schools and in sporting activities, the young population is a critical group for intelligence gathering required for effective policing.