Okun People Task FG on Community Policing

Sunday Okobi and Ugo Aliogo

The people of Okun in Kogi State, through their foremost group, Omo Okun Liberty Association (OOLA), have urged the federal and state governments to implement community policing initiatives to foster collaboration between law enforcement agencies and local communities in identifying and addressing security threats.

In statement made available to THISDAY yesterday by the association Chairman, Chief Akere Owoniyi,  the group  called on the government to enhance the capacity of law enforcement agencies through training, equipping, and adequate resourcing to effectively combat criminal activities in the state and country at large.

The statement noted that improving intelligence gathering capabilities to pre-empt criminal activities and enhance information sharing among security agencies to coordinate responses would be vital in tackling insecurity in the country.

The association  appealed to the federal government on the need to strengthen border control measures to prevent the influx of illegal arms, drugs, and criminals into the country and enhance cooperation with neighbouring countries to tackle transnational crimes.

The statement hinted that there is need to expedite legal processes and ensure swift prosecution of criminals to deter criminal activities and promote justice for victims.

It further stated the need for the government to address the underlying socio-economic factors contributing to insecurity by investing in job creation, poverty alleviation programmes, and infrastructure development to reduce vulnerability to crime.

The association in the statement remarked that fostering collaboration and coordination among security agencies, including the police, military, and intelligence services, to leverage their respective strengths in addressing security challenges.

It added: “The government should engage communities in security initiatives through awareness campaigns, community policing forums, and empowerment programmes to build trust and resilience against criminal elements. There is need to utilise technology such as surveillance cameras, drones, and data analytics to enhance monitoring and response capabilities in high-riskareas.

 “There should be conflict resolution and peace-building to facilitate dialogue, mediation, and conflict resolution mechanisms to address underlying grievances and promote social cohesion and peaceful coexistence among diverse communities. By implementing these security policies comprehensively and collaboratively, Nigeria can mitigate security challenges and create a safer and more secure environment for its citizens.”

In another development, the association stated that to harness the solid mineral resources in Kogi State for development and growth, the government Governor Ahmed Ododo should focus on resource mapping, infrastructure development, regulatory reforms, public-private partnerships, capacity building, environmental and social responsibility, and value addition, noting that these strategies are aimed to attract investment, promote sustainable mining practices, create jobs, and stimulate economic growth in the state.

The statement espoused that the Omo Okun Liberty Association’s plans for the year focus on uplifting all Okun sons and daughters through socio-economic development, educational advancement, cultural preservation, empowerment initiatives, and diaspora engagement, while pointing out that these initiatives aim to improve infrastructure, healthcare, and education, preserve Okun culture, empower women and youths, and strengthen ties with Okun professionals abroad for the overall prosperity of the Okun community.

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