Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun state on Thursday inaugurated an 18-member Advisory Committee for Community Policing Project.
He urged members to foster “people-friendly and people-oriented police service.”
The committee, which has the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona, as chairman and the Commissioner of Police, Kenneth Ebrimson, as co-chairman, will oversee the take-off and operation of the special police constable initiative of the Inspector General of Police, Muhammed Adamu, for community policing in Nigeria.
Oba Adetona was represented by the Dagburewe of Idowa, Oba Yinusa Adekoya.
Other members of the committee include leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), heads of security agencies, leadership of the Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC) and representatives of the three senatorial districts.
Addressing the committee members at the Governor’s Office, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta at the inauguration attended by security chiefs, Abiodun said community policing has gained currency in Nigeria, adding that besides putting people at the centre as partners and stakeholders in crime fighting, it is also more effective, cheaper and efficient in preventing crimes.
He enjoined them to demonstrate accountability and transparency that are the hallmark of community policing.
The governor said his administration would continue to extend the much-needed cooperation and hand of fellowship to the police and other security agencies.
He added his government had offered logistic and material support to promote the image of the police.
Abiodun said: “Community policing, which started gaining currency in Nigeria a few years ago, is policing that puts people at the centre, as partners and stakeholders, in crime fighting and crime-related challenges. Rather than ‘their police,’ community policing becomes ‘our police.’
“It is cheaper, more effective and efficient, and certainly proactive in preventing crimes rather than chasing after criminals.
“It is gratifying to note that the Nigeria Police is committed to finding lasting solution to the unpalatable threats to life, property and business.
“If we need to go on memory lane, our erstwhile colonial master saw itself as a master over the people and entrenched a brutal, oppressive and domineering police force policy that distanced the institution from the people.
“The Police was used by the powers-that-be as a veritable instrument of oppression, coercion and intimidation of perceived opponents and enemies. It was not a people’s Police.
“A democratic dispensation such as ours demands a people-friendly and people-oriented Police Service, which is in vogue with what is attainable in most parts of the developed world.”