Abia: Police, Public Interface For Improved Security | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Abia: Police, Public Interface For Improved Security

Posted: Sep 23, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Emeka Okafor


A one day security town hall meeting ended in Umuahia, Abia State capital with stakeholders making case for an interface between the Nigeria Police and members of the public in curbing resurging crime in parts of the State.

The Town Hall which held at Central Police Station, Umuahia, last week Wednesday, was summoned by the Abia State Police Command had major stakeholders including Traditional rulers, government representatives, the Clergy, members of Motor and Tricycle operators’, Students, Trade Unions and other Professional Bodies in the State in attendance.

In his keynote address, the State Commissioner for Police, Joshak Habila said that the town hall meeting with theme ‘Community Partnership Approach to Security and Crime Management in Abia State’ was apt as it would proffer solutions to the resurging crime wave in the State.

The State Commissioner of Police gave further details about a synergy between the Police and the Community in modern day Policing, noting that “the Abia State Police Command intends to work hand-in-hand with the public in designing of solutions to inherent security problems across the state. The will make it easy for the public to not only perceive itself as partners with the Police but restore its trust in the Police and help improve prevention and control mechanisms.”

CP Habila maintained that community participation is a prerequisite to an effective and efficient policing and over the years, the Nigeria police have continue to evolve new strategies in the fight against crimes and criminality and that community Policing is one of the techniques adopted but regretted that all sincere efforts have been frustrated as a result of citizens’ non participation which has created a wide gap between the Police and the community.

In his submission, the Security Adviser to the Governor of Abia State, Captain Awa Udensi Agwu in his submission, commended the efforts of the Commissioner of Police in convening the town hall meeting, noting that this is remarkable.

He called for an interface between the community and the police. While aligning with the position that traditional rulers deserve to be accorded respect, he placed it on record that respect is usually earned and not sought for.

Retired Captain Awa progressed by informing the gathering that most traditional institutions do compromise their positions by shielding criminals from arrest and prosecution. He advocated the installation of CCTV cameras, to be placed strategically, in locations within the state as this will check the excesses of hoodlums.

In his contribution, Eze Godwin Chinonye, 1st Deputy Chairman, Abia State Council of Traditional Rulers, who attended the security summit convened by the Inspector General of Police at Abuja, stated that the town hall meeting was timely and advocated a synergy between the Police and the traditional institution as the war against crime and criminalities is the business of all.

He contended that for community policing to be effective, Police must share information with the traditional institutions and that vigilante groups must be motivated to enable them operate optimally. While also lending his voice to the proper funding of the Police, he stressed the need for the Police to trust and accord respect to traditional institutions and protection of informants.

The state chairman, Nigerian Bar Association, Barr. Adizua Okoroafor maintained that as lawyers, they owe the community a duty to promote the rule of law. While the commending the Commissioner of Police for the proactive measures put in place in the fight against crime and criminalities, he regretted that lawyers are often confronted with challenges in the course of carrying out their constitutional roles.

He stressed that there must confidence building between the Police and the members of the community as this will drive the system and enable members of the public to trust the Police. He decried the use of Police machinery to assault citizens in civil cases, debt recovery and revenue matters.

The chairman, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, (PFN) Abia State, Rev. (DR) Anyimson in his contribution advocated that everyone should Police his or her environment, he called on the community to seek the face of God by going to Church for the transformation of the society.

In the same vein, Dr Prince Chimaroke, a community leader from Amafor Isingwu community of Umuahia North Council Area called for re-branding and re orientation of the Police for a greater efficiency and confidence building between the Police and the community as Public Relations is the key to Effective Policing.

On his part, Amb. Emma Nwosu, Chairman PCRC Abia State called on the traditional institutions to collaborate with the Police in supplying vital information that could assist in checking the excesses of criminals in the communities.

In his contribution, Comrade Osita Umuna, of the Tricycle Associations decried the harassment faced by their members in the hands of the Police and called for a more robust relationship.

He therefore advocated for the formation of vigilante groups in communities neighbourhoods that which would greatly assist the Police in grime fighting.

Contributing, Comrade Ndukwe, representing the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) urged government to assist in harmonizing all the unions operating in the park to avoid unnecessary friction. He also called for the introduction of metal detectors for security checks in our motor parks.

Comrade Samuel Nwachukwu of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) called for more collaboration between the police and the youths to fight crime and other social vices and implored the government to assist the youths in carrying lofty programmes that will impact on the citizenry.

Chief Christian Ndukwe of ASMATA, the umbrella union for traders in the market urged the police to follow due process while extending investigations to the markets by consulting with the executive who will take steps to assist in the course of the investigations.

The representative of the Student Union Government, Michael Opera University of Agriculture, Umudike, Comrade Njoku Temple Uchenna contended that man is the problem of himself and man is the solution stating that the criminals live in our communities as our brothers, sisters, relatives

He therefore advised all to go home and search their consciences as this is the only way out of the present security challenges facing the State.