By Richard Thomas, Ibadan
Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde has inaugurated a 22-member committee on community policing, saying it was in response to yearnings of citizens for local policing apparatus to check rising security challenges in the state.
The committee is State Community Policing Advisory Committee (SCPAC).
At the ceremony held at the Government House, Agodi, Ibadan,on Friday, governor Makinde said setting up the committee was aimed at deepening the security architecture in the state in order to address the rising insecurity issues in the state.
According to him, the committee would help to bolster community policing to check criminal activities and assist the Police and other security agencies to provide and ensure the sustainability of a crime-free society.
The governor said: “The last six weeks or so have been very tasking and challenging due to the criminal activities at the Akinyele axis of the state, not just with the existential threats posed by the COVID-19 global pandemic, but also of emerging security risks confronting the various federating units.”
“Notwithstanding the steady progress made by this administration in partnership with relevant security agencies to ensure the peace and safety of individuals, communities and public property in the state, there is a compelling need to continually deepening and expanding our security architecture in such a manner that we can preempt and arrest any untoward development.”
“Of weighty consideration in this regard is the necessity to bolster our community policing apparatus.”
“Urgent steps are, therefore, required to avert a possible breakdown of law and order. It is axiomatic that the security of any state or nation is a shared responsibility between the government, law enforcement agencies, and the people.
“And, as I have always said, the job of security is too serious, too important and too demanding to be left to law enforcement agencies alone.”
“Community policing provides us with a strong platform to leverage this partnership. Through the collaboration of the police, the people, and the government, it enables us to improve the processes and structures that engender peace-building, preserve our collective security, enhance the credibility of our criminal justice system and deliver better-policing services.
He recalled that community policing was the subject of the earlier South-West Security Summit held in Oyo State, under the auspices of the Inspector-General of Police.
The governor explained that the inauguration of the committee, therefore, was one of the many steps his administration was taking to build on the security architecture of the state.
He noted that members of the committee reflected the qualities of professionalism, character, competence, leadership, maturity, experience, and diversity expected of such a high-powered assemblage, saying it could not be otherwise because this is an urgent state assignment that requires sacrifice, dedication, tact and wisdom.
Expressing confidence on members of the committees, he said: “I trust in the abilities of these men to liaise with not just the police but all relevant stakeholders to advise, identify and nip problems in the bud before they escalate into full-blown security challenges.”
“I want to emphasize that the three major partners in the community policing process are the people, the police, and the government. In this partnership, the relationship must be such that it is consensus-oriented, promotes accountability, and elicits the appropriate action necessary to preserve our collective peace and security.”
“These must be backed with appropriate and decisive action by the police to elicit goodwill and inspire confidence. One key factor that enables problem-solving is the development and deployment of an incident management programme.
“In suggesting solutions, we are to prioritize diplomacy and carefully weigh the intended and unintended consequences of any action.”