The six governors of the South South geo-political zone have declared support for community policing as panacea for security challenges in the country as proposed by the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).
This was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of a one-day security summit for the South South region by the force, and hosted in Asaba, Delta State.
The summit, which drew participants from the six states, including Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Cross and Akwa Ibom has as its theme: “Strategic Partnership for Effective Community Policing in the South South Zone.”
The communiqué, which was read by the host governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, explained that the motive of community policing which hinged on integrating the grassroots into security management across the country was commendable.
It said the summit represented a significant redefining policing and security arrangements across the country, adding that current challenges were and should be the concern of not just government, but every citizen.
Also in the communiqué signed by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, and representatives of the governments of the six states, the participants urged the IGP to design training pattern for vigilantes and neighbourhood watchers to bridge the personnel gap in the Police Force.
According to them, the ad-hoc security operatives should be suitably equipped and funded and their operations should be subject to direct supervision and control by the police.
“Moreover, the IGP should take further proactive steps to facilitate an appropriate legal framework to enhance the operations of the vigilance groups and similar bodies,” the communiqué added.
The participants expressed concern over declining family values, saying many crimes were traceable to negative peer group influence, substance abuse and the absence of moral discipline, all of which could be mitigated by good parenting and effective teaching and learning in schools.
They, therefore, charged stakeholders to undertake strong advocacy for the sustenance of family values and functional education capable of promoting self-employment for youths.
They also urged state governments in the zone to “pursue job and wealth creation as a priority as unemployment among youths is one of the disposing factors to criminality.”