Magnus Eze, Enugu
The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, has ordered the deployment of aerial surveillance helicopters to major cities in the South-West and North-West.
The Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), DCP Frank Mba, in a statement, yesterday, in Abuja, said the order was part of efforts by the police to effectively curtail crimes in the country.
He said that the Police Air-Wing Operational Base in Abuja would cater for Abuja–Kaduna highways and the adjoining states in the North-West and North-Central.
Mba said the new base in Ondo would cater for the adjoining states and highways straddling the South-West.
He enjoined Nigerians not to panic and go about their lawful businesses, adding that the aerial surveillance was to improve the security of lives and property in the affected areas.
The IGP also revealed that the Federal Government has approved recruitment of 40,000 Community Police Constables across the federation as part of measures to strengthen community policing.
Adamu said this, yesterday, in Enugu during the launch of the Police Campaign Against Cultism and Other Vices (POCACOV).
“Each of the 774 council areas in the country will have a minimum of 50 constables to strengthen security at the local levels.
“It will also involve engaging community-based organisations, groups and institutions to see that it works for the betterment of all.’’
The I-G, represented by the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 9, Mr Baba Tijini, said that the adoption of POCACOV as a national programme was in line with Federal Government’s community policing agenda. He said that the idea of community policing was to involve all stakeholders in the onerous task of crime reduction in Nigeria.
He said that the police would sensitise members of the public to join the fight against crime and criminality at the community level.
The I-G said: “I want all Nigerians to key into this programme for the overall reduction of crime in all our communities in the country.
“We want to engage and work together with local citizens to easily identify security threats and proffer local solutions to them.
Earlier, Maj.-Gen. Abubakar Maikobi, the General Officer Commanding 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, who spoke on behalf of service chiefs in the state, assured the I-G of the continuous support of the security agencies.
Maikobi, represented by the 82 Division Garrison Commander, Brig.-Gen. Sylvester Oloyede, said that the existing synergy among the security agencies in Enugu state and other parts of the country had continued to yield positive results.
“The I-G should be assured that he will get our unwavering support towards this campaign to ensure that it succeeds,’’ he said.
In a message, Team Leader, Nigeria Policing Programme (NPP), Mrs Kemi Okenyodo, said that the launch of POCACOV was an illustration of the commitment of the police to fully adopt community policing as a strategy in the country.
Okenyodo described the joint identification of societal problems and cross-sectorial consultation to achieve local solutions to local problems as the key message from the event to all Nigerians.
Igwe Lawrance Agubuzu, the Chairman of the occasion and Chairman of Enugu State Traditional Rulers’ Council, thanked the I-G for involving everyone and taking the fight against cultism and crime to the community level.
According to Agubuzu, POCACOV is a bottom-up approach meant to tackle the root cause of most crimes.