The Acting Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, on Thursday, inaugurated zonal security stakeholders forum in zone 11 to further strengthen community policing.
Speaking at the Police Zonal Command, Osogbo, Adamu who was represented by the Deputy Inspector General of Police, DIG Taiwo Lakanu, said the forum was designed to galvanize the people of Ondo, Osun and Oyo States towards identifying and partnering to address peculiar security challenges in the three states in Zone XI Police Command.
“I am particularly glad that we are now more conscious of the imperative of collaboration, and the indispensability of a common front to fight our common enemies who make life miserable by their nefarious activities.
“Indeed, in our resolve to integrate Community Policing into our law enforcement functions, I have initiated actions towards inaugurating a Nigeria Police Community Policing Implementation Standing Committee to drive the process and in the coming days, the country will witness concrete actions directed at evolving a community-oriented police for the nation in line with the vision of Mr. President.
“Additionally, I have commenced the process of addressing the root factors that engender conflict and distrust between the citizens and the Police, particularly, the issues touching on misuse of firearms and sundry abuses of police powers.
“We are in the process of migrating from total dependence on lethal weaponry as first line of police operations towards acquiring and deploying less lethal weaponry such as Taser or Stun Guns. Under the new policy, personnel on low-risk policing duties like routine patrols, arrest duties, and civil disorder management will be armed with Taser Guns or Stun Guns as a strategic approach towards reducing incidents of fatalities associated with misapplication of lethal weapons by the police when faced with low level threats.
In his speech, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, zone X1, AIG Adeleye Oyebade, noted that the zone has done enough to wipe away criminals in Oyo, Osun and Ondo where the zone covers.
“While it cannot be denied that the Nigeria Police is doing its best to protect Nigerians and defend our democracy, the point must be made that there are still challenges.
“Challenges such as kidnapping, armed robbery, burglary, cattle rustling, insurgency and other crimes and criminality still occur in some parts of the country. The Zone is obviously one of the most peaceful in the country.
“The relative peace in the three states under the Zone would not be achieved but for the support of Mr President, the three state Governors, the Inspector-General of Police and his management team, the good people of the Zone as well as the dedication and commitment of officers and men in the three states.
“I am happy to inform you that we have been able to put criminals at bay in the Zone. We have also arrested some armed robbery suspects, kidnap suspects, suspected ritualists, burglars, recovered cache of arms and ammunition, stolen vehicles, motorcycles, and other valuable property across the Zone since the launch of the ‘Operation Puff Adder’. While some of the cases are still under investigation, others have been charged to courts.
“These modest achievements notwithstanding, there is still room for improvement. But there are obvious challenges militating against effective policing especially in the Zone. These challenges, though not insurmountable, include some logistic problems, communication problem and other infrastructural deficiencies.