South-east Govs Back Community Policing, Ohanaeze Seek Regional Security Outfits

Nnia Nwodo

Christopher Isiguzo and Gideon Arinze in Enugu

Determined to find lasting solution to the security challenges facing the South-east Zone, the governors of the five states in the zone wednesday resolved to adopt the community policing initiative of the Inspector General of Police, IG, Mr. Mohammed Adamu.

The development, which was the outcome of a closed- door meeting between the governors and the IG in Enugu, is expected to be an effective tool for bringing policing to the grassroots.

This is coming as the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo has asked the federal government to initiate the process of allowing each of the six geopolitical zones to establish their own security outfits in order to effectively tackle modern security challenges.

Similarly, the Archbishop of Enugu Ecclesiastical Province, His Grace, Most Rev. Emmanuel Chukwuma asked the Federal Government to declare killer herdsmen across the country as terrorist.

Chukwuma said that the rate of killings carried out by the herdsmen on religious leaders, which have often gone unpunished, has become devastating.

The leaders spoke during the South -east security summit entitled: ‘Strategic Partnership for Effective Community policing in the South East Zone.’

Delivering the comminique issued at the end of their meeting with the IG, the chairman of the South-east Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ebonyi State, Mr. Dave Umahi said the community policing initiate will lead to the recruitment of police constables who will work closely with various communities across the zone in tackling insecurity.

The initiative, which had since been approved by the federal government, will further deal with the increasing security challenges in the country.

The governors described it as a welcome development that will substantially address the security problems across the country.

He said that the process takes into consideration the security initiatives put in place by the governors of the states in the zone such as the vigilante groups, neighbourhood watch and forest guards.

According to him, “we shall set up community policing committees that will be made up of traditional rulers, religious and town union leaders within the locality will be charged with the responsibility of selecting and recruiting officers that will work within the communities” he said.

He said that as state governors, they will have joint security meetings on quarterly basis to access the security situation within the zone.

On his part, the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Nwodo said allowing each zone to establish their own security outfits will greatly assist in resolving the security crisis facing the country.

He said if the states are allowed to independently carry out the recruitment of individuals to work as security operative in the various communities, it will help to deal with insecurity.

“We want to own our domestic security outfit. Existing laws must allow us have what will be known as Ogbunigwe security outfit for us in the east. We belong to these communities and we know our people better. But any attempt to interfere in the process of recruitment will make it dead arrival,” he noted.

He said the zones needed some level of independence since the existing system in the country had according to him failed, adding that the people of the South -east have absolutely lost confidence in the police and even the road safety who have continued to exploit the people in the name of protecting their lives.