From Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
A retired former Inspector-General of Police, Sunday Ehindero, has appealed to operatives of the South West Security Network (Amotekun Corps) to strictly adhere to the country’s constitution that forbids them from bearing firearms in the course of their operation.
Ehindero said the regional outfit was to be an information and intelligence gathering operation, declaring that the law establishing Amotekun does not make provision for it to be an arm-bearing authority.
The former IGP advised that the Amotekun Corps key into the community policing and work in synergy with the Special Constables and the Police Force in order to combat insecurity at the grassroots.
Ehindero gave this position on Monday at the Community Policing Sensitisation and Awareness Campaign, organised by the Ogun State’s Police Command in Abeokuta, the state capital.
At the event, where the police command showcased the newly recruited 320 Special Constables who would serve as community police in the state, the former IGP said Amotekun should not be hasty to bear firearms, appealing to the operatives to be patient until the constitution is amended.
‘For now, I can’t say. Maybe in the future, they (Amotekun) are not allowed by the law to carry firearms.
‘They should key into community policing and constantly give information to the police. When Amotekun is launched, they will collaborate and cooperate with the police and they will bring intelligence.
‘Amotekun can go where the police can’t go and when they bring the information the police will definitely work on it.
‘All I’m saying is that Amotekun, for now, until the constitution is amended, they should key into community policing and bring its intelligent gathering prowess to the use of the police,’ Ehindero stated.
In his remark, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone II, Ahmed Iliyasu, said crime could better be fought and won when the police test their ability to gain community support than the use of force.
Iliyasu stressed that the only way to enhance community policing was to improve the behaviour, attitude and relationship with members of the public.
‘Our officers and men must be approachable, accessible, available and committed to assisting the community.
‘They must know and be known by the public, engage and mobilise the communities and listen to the communities, concerns,’ the AIG stated.