The Federal Government of Nigeria has introduced a community policing initiative as part of measures to curb rising insecurity in the country.
This was disclosed to Today’s Echo and other media outfits in a statement by the presidency on Thursday morning.
According to the presidency, over 40,000 community police officers will be recruited and drafted to their local communities across the 774 Local Government Areas of the country.
” The Muhammadu Buhari Administration is bringing fundamental changes to Policing in Nigeria, through the expedited implementation of our Community Policing initiative, by the Nigerian Police,” the presidency announced.
The new Community Policing initiative will involve the engagement of Community Policing Officers (CPOs), under the coordination of the Nigerian Police. These CPOs will be recruited from and assigned to their local communities of residence, across the 774 LGAs of Nigeria.
” The Community Policing Officers (CPOs) will be deployed to complement the Nigerian Police in law enforcement functions within their localities by performing low-risk and non-sensitive duties. They will also act as liaisons between the Police and their communities.
” The Community Policing deployment plan will in the initial phase cover the recruitment of forty thousand (40,000) CPOs across the country.
“In addition, one thousand (1,300) CPOs will be drawn from professional bodies: Academia, Religious Bodies, Transport Unions, Artisans, Traders Associations, Women’s Groups, and Youth Organisations, among others, in order to ensure diverse representation,” the Presidency said.
Prior to this new development, there had been several deliberations and propositions to introduce state police to forestall ethnic and religious clashes and curb the menace of terrorism.
Today’s Echo had reported that the president met with security chiefs and all 36 state governors of the federation on June 7 to deliberate on the issue of state police.
The Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum and Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi had told newsmen that governors had not yet taken a position on the proposal for state and local government police.
Fayemi noted that while some governors had disclosed their ability to support such state and local government police, others were still battling with the challenge of paying existing workers’ salaries.
However, Today’s Echo gathered that the new move by the president is coming after a delegation of traditional rulers from the South-West led by the Ooni of Ife visited the president to discuss the worsening security situation in the country, especially the new threat to the South-West.
Parts of the promises Buhari made to the community leaders is the introduction of community policing.