The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, as well as some religious leaders on Wednesday called on the Federal Government to allow the South-East to establish their security outfit to be known as Operation Ogbunigwe.
This is just as the governors of the zone adopted the community policing programme of the Nigeria Police Force for the zone. The two parties spoke at the end of South-East Security Summit held in Enugu with the theme, ‘Strategic Partnership for effective Community Policing in the South East Geo-Political Zone.’
The Chairman of the South East Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi, who read the position of the governors at the end of the summit organised by the Nigeria Police, said that they were satisfied with the strategies for the implementation of the community policing programme in the zone. Umahi said, “We reached a satisfactory and acceptable decision and agreement.
“The IG’s presentation was not different from “our neighbourhood watch, our vigilante operation and forests guard, the herdsmen and farmers peace community among others. “When we saw that this is totally in tandem with what we are doing, we decided as your governors to embrace the initiative of community policing.”
But the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, appealed to the Federal Government to allow the South-East to establish their own security to take care of their challenges and peculiarities. Nwodo said, “Mr IGP, our farms have been devastated and the herders that devastated our farms carry AK-47 rifles. You cannot be talking about community policing when the people you want to supervise, you do not understand their language.
“Your legal architecture doesn’t take into consideration that our governors, by the constitution, are the chief security officers of their various states, and this gives them the responsibility to protect the lives and property of their citizens. So when you begin to talk about recruitment, with the commander and control, and you do not share with the governors and representatives at the local areas this command and control and recruitment, this exercise is dead on arrival.”
Addressing the stakeholders on community policing programme, the Inspector General Police, Adamu said, “The community policing model is one that will draw on the legal opportunities provided by the Police Act for the engagement of special constables who will be engaged as community policing officers under the coordination of the Nigeria Police Force toward evolving a community-focused policing architecture.”