The Inspector-General of Police (I-G), Mohammed Adamu, says the Federal Government is to recruit 40,000 Community Police Constables across the federation as part of the measures to strengthen community policing in the country.
He said this on Thursday in Enugu during the launch of the Police Campaign Against Cultism and Other Vices (POCACOV).
He said: “Each of the 774 council areas in the country will have a minimum of 50 constables to strengthen security at the local levels.
“It will also involve engaging community-based organisations, groups and institutions to see that it works for the betterment of all.’’
The I-G, represented by the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 9, Mr Baba Tijini, said that the adoption of POCACOV as a national programme was in line with Federal Government’s community policing agenda.
He said that the idea of community policing was to involve all stakeholders in the onerous task of crime reduction in Nigeria.
He said that the police would sensitise members of the public to join the fight against crime and criminality at the community level.
The I-G said: “I want all Nigerians to key into this programme for the overall reduction of crime in all our communities in the country.
“We want to engage and work together with local citizens to easily identify security threats and proffer local solutions to them.
Earlier, Maj.-Gen. Abubakar Maikobi, the General Officer Commanding 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, who spoke on behalf of service chiefs in the state, assured the I-G of the continuous support of the security agencies.
Maikobi, represented by the 82 Division Garrison Commander, Brig.-Gen. Sylvester Oloyede, said that the existing synergy among the security agencies in Enugu state and other parts of the country had continued to yield positive results.
“The I-G should be assured that he will get our unwavering support towards this campaign to ensure that it succeeds,’’ he said.
In a message, Team Leader, Nigeria Policing Programme (NPP), Mrs Kemi Okenyodo, said that the launch of POCACOV was an illustration of the commitment of the police to fully adopt community policing as a strategy in the country.
Okenyodo described the joint identification of societal problems and cross-sectorial consultation to achieve local solutions to local problems as the key message from the event to all Nigerians.
Igwe Lawrance Agubuzu, the Chairman of the occasion and Chairman of Enugu State Traditional Rulers’ Council, thanked the I-G for involving everyone and taking the fight against cultism and crime to the community level.
According to Agubuzu, POCACOV is a bottom-up approach meant to tackle the root cause of most crimes.
“We also have to look inwards and ensure that those that supply or sell hard drugs to children in the communities are apprehended,’’ he said
In an address of welcome, Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, lauded the I-G for choosing Enugu for the launch of the campaign meant to reform the life-style of the nation’s future leaders.
Ugwuanyi, represented by the state Head of Service, Mr Chidi Ezema, extolled the qualities of the I-G, citing his achievements in crime prevention as commissioner of police in the state.
He said, “It was during your time as commissioner of police here that POCACOV was initiated by you and it made the state to be ranked as the most peaceful in the country.’’
“The state government will continue to support activities of the police to ensure that the state remain safe and secure, while protecting the future of our children.”
The governor commended the efforts of the police and other security agencies for stemming insecurity in the state.
He specifically thanked the security agencies for the rescue of a permanent secretary in the state from the hands of his abductors unhurt.
Highlights of the event were the inauguration of the POCACOV ambassadors, comprising celebrities from the state, and POCACOV NYSC Community Development Service group. (NAN)