Nigeria’s Inspector-General of Police, Adamu
REMARKS BY IGP MOHAMMED A. ADAMU, NPM, mni AT THE SOUTH EAST GEOPOLITICAL ZONE SECURITY SUMMIT HELD AT BASE 2 EVENT CENTRE, ENUGU, ENUGU STATE ON 12TH FEBRUARY, 2020
I feel highly honoured and delighted to address this rich gathering of Executive Governors, revered Royal Fathers and other strategic stakeholders across the States in the South East geopolitical zone at this all-important security summit.
2. This event is convened within the framework of our community policing initiative and as part of the strategies of the Nigeria Police to employ an all-inclusive strategy toward aiding us in the achievement of our internal security mandate, particularly in the South Eastern States. This policing approach is essential for a number of reasons.
3. Firstly, the increasing complexity of crime and the challenges of policing a vast and diverse country like ours have combined to make it imperative that a people-oriented approach be adopted. Secondly, public trust, consent and partnership are the foundation upon which policing rests.
4. Consequently, any policing architecture that alienates the citizens it was established to serve cannot optimally achieve its crime control mandate regardless of how well equipped, motivated or trained such a police agency could be. Hence, it is considered essential that policing be returned to the community. This requires that the Nigeria Police should continually engage the citizens in seeking their inputs and soliciting their support in addressing peculiar security challenges as they affect the diverse localities.
5. The attainment of this objective requires the adoption of citizens-driven pathways for the purposes of identifying, dissecting and prioritizing security threats, and working together to evolve strategies directed at tackling these threats. This is essentially, is the purpose of this Summit.
6. This phase of the Security Summit is the sixth in the series that we have convened. We have previously held similar engagements in the North-West Geo-Political Zone, which was hosted by the Katsina State Governor on 1st August, 2019; South-West Geo-Political Zone, which was hosted by the Oyo State Governor on 2nd September, 2019; North-East Geo-Political Zone, which was hosted by the Borno State Governor on 5th November, 2019; and South-South Geo-Political Zone, which was hosted by the Delta State Governor on 26th November, 2019. The last one was held in the North Central Zone on 22nd January, 2020 with the Nasarawa State Governor as host.
7. All the Summits ended with very successful outcomes and I am delighted to confirm that the strategies jointly developed as well as the partnerships we built at the meetings that we have so far held have been effective in addressing the security threats that are peculiar to each of the geopolitical zones.
8. The South East Geopolitical Zone is challenged by the threats of kidnapping, armed robbery, youth restiveness, communal disputes, and cultism. The Commissioners of Police across the Zone have been working assiduously to mitigate these security threats and have indeed recorded significant breakthroughs in recent times. The obligation to sustain the gains being recorded has made the integration of community policing strategy to policing functions in the South East imperative.
9. As we proceed with the South East phase of the Security Summit, I am particularly pleased to confirm that the Federal Government has approved the adoption of Community Policing as the Strategy to be adopted for managing internal security threats in the country. This forum provides a veritable opportunity to give insight into our plans for the implementation of the strategy.
10. The Community Policing model being envisioned for Nigeria under the current dispensation is one that will draw on the legal opportunities provided by the Police Act for the engagement of Special Constables who in this instance, will be engaged as Community Policing officers under the coordination of the Nigeria Police toward evolving a community-focused policing architecture.
11. Under the Police Act, a Special Constable is an auxiliary Police or Part-Time law enforcement Officer who is specifically appointed to complement the conventional Police in crime management and maintenance of law and order whenever the need arises, with the exception of being engaged in military duties.
12. Provisions for the establishment and utilisation of Special Constables is provided for under Section 49 of the Police Act and they are appointed in accordance with the provisions of Section 50 (1) of the Police Act. In view of these provisions which approve their recruitment to serve particular purposes and which also confer upon them, the powers, privileges and immunities of a Police Officer within their localities, Special Constables could be recruited from within specific communities, trained and used as Voluntary Community Police officers to drive the Community Policing initiative at the grassroots levels.
13. The selection of the Special Constables shall be done in a process that will actively involve strategic stakeholders within each community. In order to aid effective implementation, the following process are to be emplaced:
1. There shall be established Community Policing Committees (CPCs) at local Communities and State levels
2. Divisional Police Officers, Area Commanders, and Commissioners of Police shall identify the strategic stakeholders in their Areas of Jurisdiction and constitute them into the Community Policing Committees at the various levels.
3. The Heads of the CPCs at each of the levels shall be credible, respected, and influential traditional or community leaders.
4. The CPCs shall operate under the coordination of the Heads of Police Formations at each operational level
5. The operations, authority and privileges of the CPCs shall be limited to their specific localities and not beyond.
6. The composition and structure of the CPCs may not be uniform across all localities as they will be dependent on the nature or peculiarities of each locality.
7. Membership of the CPCs shall be drawn from traditional institutions, religious bodies, youth organisations, market bodies, transport unions, artisans, hunters’ associations, vigilante groups, socio-cultural associations, professional unions, farmers bodies, hoteliers, retired and serving security agencies, town unions, and educational institutions among others.
14. The roles of the CPCs shall be as follows:
1. To assist the Police in the identification, vetting and selection process of Community Policing Officers (CPOs) within their communities.
2. Help identify security threats in their communities and work with the local Police in evolving appropriate approaches towards addressing them
3. Advise on general security issues as they affect their communities.
4. Offer feedbacks on issues touching on police-community partnership with a view to aiding the sustenance of trust between the Police and the community in furtherance to the attainment of the objectives of community policing and sustenance of community safety and security.
15. The implementation process also provides that Special Constables shall be recruited to act as Community Policing Officers. The recruitment process is to be guided by the provisions of Sec. 49 – 50 of the Nigeria Police Act (2004) and they shall be trained and kitted in specially branded Nigeria Police Uniforms.
16 The duties of CPOs shall include assisting the Police in crime detection and prevention; conflict resolution; criminal intelligence gathering; and law and order maintenance. They shall also be deployed to complement the conventional Police in the patrol of the public space within their local communities.
17. Other duties include reassuring and advising the public on public safety, crime prevention and security tips; dealing with minor offences and social vices; working with the community, schools, and young people, business communities, religious bodies, cultural groups, community-based Associations, recreational centres and hospitality businesses toward crime control; and assisting in traffic management and school safety duties.
18. Your Excellencies, the key factor in addressing the security threats in the South East is that we should as a people, be determined to build a consensus, partner in condemning any act of criminality, and resolve to work with the Police and other security agencies toward identifying, isolating and bringing the criminal elements within our communities to deserved justice. I am convinced that the adoption of Community Policing Strategy will aid this process.
19. When fully operational, the strategy will free-up the human and material assets of the Nigeria Police which are currently tied down to the management of low-level crimes, and strengthen are capacity to re-direct our assets and operations on high-profile crimes that constitute major threat to community safety and security. It is my expectation that this gathering will explore further the implementation process of the Community Policing initiative and offer inputs that will guarantee the success of the initiative in the South East region.
20. While I assure you of the unwavering determination of the Nigeria Police to deploy all its assets toward guaranteeing safety and security of all citizens across the country, I shall continually solicit the input and support of all in achieving this objective. This is because it is only when we work in solidarity that we can defeat our common enemies who are the criminal elements in our midst.
21. On this note, I sincerely appreciate the support of the Executive Governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, for partnering with us and hosting this Summit. I also thank all the other Executive Governors here present for their consistent support for the Police in their States.
22. I am similarly, immensely grateful to our revered Traditional Rulers and all other strategic stakeholders here present for sacrificing to personally honour our invitation to this Summit. It is my expectation that the outcome of this interaction will alter the security narratives in the South East geopolitical Zone for good.
23. I thank you all and pray that Allah (SWT) continues to protect and bless you, the South East Geopolitical Zone, and our beloved country.