by Obinna Osigwe
One of the main functions of the government is to provide security for her citizens, as well as enforce law and order. When the citizens cannot move freely to conduct their businesses and in constant fear of illegitimate forces, then the government has failed her people. This is why the governors are called the Chief Security Officers of their states, while the President is called the Commander-in-Chief.
This is why the recent endorsement of the new community policing model of the Nigerian Police Force by the Southeast Governor’s Forum at the South East Geo-political Security Summit, initiated by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar shows the readiness of the Southeast governors to confront the rising insecurity in the country.
According to the Chairman of Southeast Governor’s Forum, Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, “The community policing was proper and explained to us in full details and it is not different from our Neighbourhood Watch and the Vigilante operation, the Forest Guard, the gatekeepers, the herdsmen and farmers conflict committees and others.”
“And so we saw that this is totally in tandem with what we pray. We decided as your governors to embrace this initiative of community policing, which is an official endorsement in line with what we and the police are doing to safeguard the lives and property of our people.”
We commend the Inspector General of Police for taking the issue of security seriously. The community policing is a citizen-centered and community policing approach that will lead to more sustainable successes in the management of internal safety and security threats.
A coordinated approach is required for a secure southeast, this is why the Southeast governors must be commended for taking this bold step to addressing the security risks facing the region.
At the moment, the monopoly of violence is no more with the Federal Government. Notorious gangs, kidnappers, bandits, Boko Haram, killer herdsmen have all gone berserk.
Inasmuch as the Southeast is among the peaceful regions in Nigeria, some states especially Enugu has been badly affected by the collapse of the security system in Nigeria. The famous Nimbo, Uzo-Uwani attack in 2016, murderous Fulani herdsmen slaughtered 40 people is still fresh in the consciousness of the people of Southeast. Last year, two Catholic priests were kidnapped and killed in Enugu. Many communities in Enugu State have been badly affected by the growing insecurities.
The Anambra State Vigilante Service (AVS) has been a great model of community policing for many years, however, a more coordinated strategy that will harmonize the community policing structures in the Southeast states should be developed. This will provide efficient information gathering, especially for killers that move through the forest. All stakeholders including the communities, Church, civil societies, traditional institutions must work together to preserve our nation,