Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, on Friday, inaugurated the state Community Policing Advisory Committee.
Makinde said at the inauguration that it would deepen the security architecture in the state, thereby nipping insecurity issues in the bud.
It was reported that community policing is an initiative of the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to aid the conventional policing strategy.
Makinde asserted that the initiative was in tandem with the aspiration of the state, in terms of provision of adequate security to all and sundry.
“As far as we are concerned in Oyo State, security is one of the four pillars of our road map to accelerated development,” he said.
The governor emphasised that his administration had been doing its best at securing lives and property in the state since assumption of office.
“Within our 100 days in office, we bought 100 units of cars for the police, also we looked at the communication system, because whichever part of Oyo State that the police and other security agents are located, they must be able to communicate with themselves, even with the authorities in Abuja.
“So, we took care of that and practically every inch of Oyo State is now covered by solid communication network for the security agencies.
“Few weeks ago, we commissioned the expanded coverage of the CCTV camera for major hotspots in Oyo State as well as expanded control room of the State Security Trust Fund at its headquarters at Onireke in Ibadan.
“Also, we have launched the Oyo State Crime Alert System; it is a mobile hub which is now live, so I urge the general public to take advantage of the hub and register, so as to be able to alert security operatives of any suspected crime around their vicinity,” he said.
On the essence of the committee, Makinde said it would help boost community policing to check criminal activities.
The governor said it would also assist the police and other security agencies to provide and ensure the sustainability of a crime-free society.
He said that there was a compelling need to continually deepen and expand “our security architecture in such a manner that we can preempt and arrest any untoward development.”
“Of weighty consideration in this regard is the necessity to bolster our community policing apparatus.”
“Urgent steps are, therefore, required to avert a possible breakdown of law and order.”
“It is axiomatic that the security of any state or nation is a shared responsibility between the government, law enforcement agencies and the people.”
“And, as I have always said, the job of security is too serious, too important and too demanding to be left to law enforcement agencies alone.”
Makinde said that community policing provides a strong platform to leverage partnership through the collaboration of the police, the people and the government.
“It will also enable us to improve the processes and structures that engender peace-building, preserve our collective security, enhance the credibility of our criminal justice system and deliver better policing services,” he said.
On the composition of the committee, Makinde noted that the members reflected the qualities of professionalism, character, competence, leadership, maturity, experience and diversity expected of such a high-powered assembly.
“It can not be otherwise because this is an urgent state assignment that requires sacrifice, dedication, tact and wisdom.
“I trust in the abilities of these men to liaise with, not just the police, but all relevant stakeholders to advise, identify and nip problems in the bud before they escalate into full-blown security challenges,” he said.
The governor congratulated members of the committee and urged them to be guided by the zeal to make the society crime-free.
In his remark, the supervising Deputy Inspector General of Police, Southwest, Adeleye Oyebade, noted that the inauguration of the committee was significant.
He described it as a turning point in the history of the nation’s democracy to chart a new course for the protection of lives and properties.
Oyebade said that strengthening internal security requires a security road map, hence the adoption of community policing as an aid to conventional policing strategy.
“Community policing as a policing model rests on the philosophy and principles of public partnership, intelligence gathering and inter/multi-agencies collaboration.
“Consequent, upon the approval by the President, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar Adamu, NPM, mni, directed that the scheme should take off in all the states across the country.
“It is envisioned that the full implementation of the community policing will help address or mitigate the security challenges currently confronting us as a nation.
“The project is therefore, one that is very dear to the Nigeria Police Force whose vision is to be a leading national, professional, efficient law enforcement organisation,” he said.
Oyebade assured that the newly inaugurated committee would be the custodian of community policing in the state.
“It is the highest advisory committee that will also report to the governor, it is going to be saddled with the responsibility of dealing with community policing policy matters.
“The committee is also expected to hold a quarterly general meeting to review activities of community policing in the local government areas, with particular reference to its success or otherwise, challenges and solutions to problems identified,” he said.
In his remarks, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Nwachukwu Enwonwu, said that it was common knowledge that many societies including Nigeria, had embraced community policing.
According to him, it is because it is seen as a way forward to reach the grassroot and other environments.
Enwonwu said that community policing would take the Nigeria Police to the next level in such a way that would make the police very visible.
“Community policing is, in essence, collaboration between the Police and the community that identifies and solves community-related problems.
“With this in place, the Police will no longer be custodian of law and order, as all members of the community will become active allies in the efforts to enhance the security, safety and quality of the neighborhood watch,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of the committee members, the chairman, Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, promised that they would discharge their responsibilities satisfactorily.
Adeyemi considered his selection as chairman as a privilege.
Members of the committee include the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji and Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Jimoh Oyewumi Ajagungbade.