A former president of Nigeria, Mr Olusegun Obasanjo, has enlisted the support of religious and community leaders for the Nigeria Police Force in the onerous task of securing lives and property of citizens.
Mr Obasanjo made the request in Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State at the maiden meeting of the Eminent Citizens Forum and the launch of the “Change Begins With Me” initiative by the Ogun State Police Command.
The former president, however, asked Nigerians to always give useful information to the police to aid them in reducing the level of insecurity.
”The task of policing our communities, our state and our country is not alone for the police. It is for all of us and they want to get all of us engaged in helping the police to effectively provide the much needed security of life and property. The police no doubt has to be supported in this regard,” he said.
The State Commissioner of Police, Ahamed Illiyasu, while welcoming stakeholders to the maiden edition of the Eminent Peoples’ Forum also emphasised that the task of effective policing should remain the concern of all citizens.
”Security is now the concern of all citizens in the country as crime has no creed and map. Everyone is a stakeholder in this renewed security project. The Inspector General of Police directed that membership of the Eminent Peoples Forum should comprise critical stakeholders, religious leaders, community leaders, traditional rulers, elder statesmen, retired senior security officers, captains of industry as well as politicians’.
”The forum will support the Nigeria Police Force in proffering solutions to security challenges through mediation and social control to reduce the workload on police and bring policing close to the people.
“It (the forum) will no doubt help the police in sensitising their people to be law abiding and if there is a problem in the area, we can proffer a quick solution through the assistance of these group of eminent persons within the area,” the police commissioner said.
The Secretary to Ogun State Government, Mr Taiwo Adeoluwa, who represented the state governor, Ibikunle Amosun, however, asked the police authority to intensify efforts on the rising tides of kidnapping and land grabbing activities which have led to many deaths among others
“Both the issues of security, of course, we must admit that there is so much more to be done. So, as we celebrate the Nigeria Police on this initiative, we still want to charge that we are not where we are supposed to be yet. We still have cases of kidnapping, particularly in a section of our state. We have the intractable crisis of land grabbers in several part of the state. Recently the governor signed into law a bill designed exclusively to tackle the menace and I believe that you are doing your best to see that this is contained,” the secretary to the government said.
The occasion also witnessed the’ change begins with me’ initiative which tends to ensure the police is accountable to Nigerians by ensuring all citizens and residents of the country have a platform through which all complaints against police actions and inaction are taken up and redressed
The maiden edition of the forum brought together religious and community leaders, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the management and officers of the Ogun Police Command with the purpose of rubbing minds and fashioning out ways of ensuring security of life and property at the grassroots.