Onungwe Obe in Yenagoa
The Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, wednesday in Yenagoa, inaugurated the State Community Policing Advisory Committee and Community Policing Committee.
Diri also called for the building of mutual trust between the Nigeria Police and the general public in order to engender effective community policing in the country.
In a press release issued by the Acting Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, the governor also commended the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, for introducing the community policing initiative as a means to engender peace, stability and development across communities.
He said: “Without trust between the police, the citizens and communities, effective policing is practically impossible.
“The government and people of Bayelsa State are happy with IGP Mohammed Adamu for bringing policing to the doorsteps of the people in the various communities and local government areas.
“I challenge the Nigeria Police Force to henceforth build that reputation to earn the confidence of the public. They should use force only as the last resort.”
In his remarks, the Inspector General of Police, who was represented by the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Community Policing Strategy, Mr. Michael Ogbizi, described community policing as a worthy innovation that would enable communities take ownership of maintaining law and order.
The IG said community policing strategy would be adopted in every state of the federation, adding that the new approach to policing would be more transparent and accountable.
Bayelsa State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Nkereuwem Akpan, said that due to the need for improved security across the country, the Inspector General of Police had directed all state commands to commence community policing to ensure zero tolerance for crime.
Akpan emphasised that for robust security to be achieved, the citizenry must be carried along with round-the-clock information from the neighborhood to the force, which, according to him, was the overall goal of community policing.
Responding on behalf of the committees, the Commander, Operation Delta Safe, Rear Admiral Akinjide Akirinade, expressed appreciation to the governor and the IG for the opportunity to serve towards bringing lasting peace to the state.
The State Community Policing Advisory Committee has Governor Diri as chairman while the Commissioner of Police, Akpan, and His Royal Majesty, King Alfred Diete-Spiff, are co-chairmen.
Others include heads of security agencies and leadership of the Christian and Muslim groups in the state as well as representatives of the three senatorial districts.
In their goodwill messages, the Chairman of the State Police Community Response Committee, Mr. Ernest Samuel, and war veteran, Captain Samuel Owonaro (Rtd), both stressed that security was critical to peaceful co-existence and community development.