Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has tasked the 877 special Constables under the community policing project of the Nigeria Police Force in the state to go after prisoners who escaped from the prisons in Benin during the #EndSARS protests that were reportedly hijacked by hoodlums in the state.
Obaseki disclosed this at the passing-out parade of 877 Special Constables at the Police Training School, Ogida, in Benin City even as he promised the police that they would benefit from the state government health and life insurance package.
Obaseki had stated that upon his inauguration for a second term in office, security woukd be his first challenge.
He said he was pleased to be present at the passing-out parade of the Special Constables who would assist and collaborate with the Nigeria Police in community policing.
Obaseki added that the 877 Special Constables were part of the first batch of the 2000 constables to be trained for community policing in collaboration with the Nigeria Police Force in Edo State.
“The idea of community policing is not new to us as an administration. This concept which has led to the recruitment, training and subsequent graduation of the special constables was one of the ideas I discussed with the present Inspector General of Police, Adamu Mohammed, when he served as the Assistant Inspector General (AIG) of Police Zone 5 in Benin City, several years ago,” he said.
Obaseki continued: “Today’s Passing out Parade of the 877 personnel is legitimizing a structure that started in Edo. You have been recruited to take policing activities in your communities. You will join the Edo State Government to work for the Edo people. We are not bosses but here to serve Edo people.
“As a government, we will be investing more on security as we are collaborating with the Federal Government in this regard. We will collaborate with the Nigeria Police Force on the facilities here.
“These facilities will become busy for us as we will use it to train all the cadres that will participate in all our security architecture. We will collaborate with the Nigeria Police Force in refurbishing the facilities and commit more resources to training more security personnel.”
Obaseki said his administration would continue to train security personnel annually to keep them abreast of the new security models and upgrade their skills to help secure the state and its people.
According to him, “The state government is interested in your affairs and development. A way to show this is to provide free health insurance to all of you. We will also provide life insurance for each and every one of you.
“Working with the Division, we would ensure the intelligence gathered by you, collaborating with the Police, will be effectively used to check crime in the state. You are graduating today into a society that is challenged, security wise.
“Your first assignment is to join us and other federal security agencies to arrest all the inmates that broke out from our Correctional Center. We would give all the support for all of them to be arrested and returned to prison.”
Representative of the Inspector General of Police and Edo State Commissioner of Police, Johnson Kokumo, hailed the governor for adopting the concept of community policing to protect lives and property in the state.
He said, “As you go out today into the society, you are expected to work with the local police authority and police your area of responsibility as indigenes of your respective communities where you shall be deployed.”
Kokumo charged the special constables to make good use of their training and respect the fundamental rights of the citizens.
Commandant of the Police Training School, Ogida, ACP Jonathan Modi, said the 877 graduands received training on basic principles and core values of community policing which were vital tenets in democratic policing.
According to him, “The course contents span through the concept of community policing, police community relations, general duties of the Nigeria Police, the constitution, human rights, intelligence-led policing, disciplinary procedures, practical police duties and rules of the engagement in police operations, among others.”