By Yetunde Fatungase
Abeokuta, Oct. 27, 2020 Gov. Dapo Abiodun of Ogun says there is immediate need for state and community police apparatus in the Nigeria.
Abiodun spoke at a stakeholders’ meeting on Endsars protest held on Tuesday in Abeokuta.
Naija247news reports that present at the meeting include: students’ union representatives, religious leaders, traditional rulers and transportation unions, among others.
The governor said that community police would go a long way in bringing policing closer to the people and also protecting lives and property.
He said that the relative peace achieved in the state in the wake of #EndSARS protest had been largely through divine benevolence and effective engagement of the stakeholders and “local policing” by youths and traditional rulers.
The governor said that the singular action validated the call for police officers that were sourced from and live within their communities.
He, however, commended all security agencies for their professionalism, restraints and maturity in handling the Endsars protest in the state.
The governor said that it was a most challenging period to be a security agent, yet they rose to the occasion.
Abiodun said that hosting of the stakeholders’ meeting, in conjunction with the top hierarchy of the police, was a welcome development.
He said that it was a practical demonstration of the commitment of the police hierarchy to the fulfillment of its constitutional duties of protecting lives and property.
Abiodun added that the #EndSARS protest had brought to the fore some germane questions about police system and administration.
He said that apart from excesses of some police officers that were under focus with the #EndSARS protest, there was also the issue of reform and structure of the police.
“It is also important to note that while we can not absolve in totality the police from allegations against them, we can not also used the few bad eggs to make general and hasty statements about the entire police system.
“We need to continue to encourage, motivate and support the police to be more effective, professional and trusted partners to achieve peace and security.
“No doubt, there are many good men and officers of repute in the police force.
“Even, during the subsequent violence that trailed the #EndSARS protest, we had stories of police stations that were not tampered with because of the respect and love people of those areas have for police officers in such stations,” he said.
The governor, then advised the public to be circumspect in what they believed or shared on the social media.
According to him, this is to avoid ending up being unwitting recruits and purveyors of fake news with its dire consequences for peace and security in the society.
In his remarks, DIG Adeleye Oyebade, also stressed the need for community policing, saying that it would address most of the issues raised by youths.
“The way forward is community policing so that we can close gap with members of the public, especially youths.
“The way forward is community policing, so that we can collaborate and cooperate with ourselves.
“The youth have the highest number in the community; we need you to contribute your own quota, and we are going to work together with other sister agencies to police you better.
“The police reform being clamoured for is already on the table of the IGP Muhammed Adamu for immediate action,” he said.