South-east governors and the Inspector-General of Police (IG), Mr. Mohammed Adamu, have finally agreed on a template for the implementation of community policing in the zone.
The governors had accused IG of breaching an earlier agreement reached on the matter.
But after a teleconference held with IG wednesday, the Chairman of the South-east Governors’ Forum and Ebonyi State Governor, Chief David Umahi, said they had agreed on modalities to implement the policy.
Umahi said there was no longer disagreement between the governors, other leaders of the zone and Adamu.
He stated that after the meeting, IG agreed that the various security apparatus at the local communities should be deployed in the areas to safeguard lives and property.
Umahi noted that part of the agreement reached at the meeting was the training of community members by the police, while those trained would carry out the community policing in the different states of the zone.
He added that an advisory committee, to be set up in each area to supervise the operations, would be headed by the traditional ruler of the community with other selected stakeholders as members.
“This is at the community level and this is well accepted by the governors of South-east and other leaders of the zone,” the governor said.
Umahi explained that IG also agreed that state Commissioners of Police (CPs) in the zone made a mistake by making the selection, adding that anyone that had gone ahead to do the selection process made a mistake.
He said it was left for the governors and stakeholders to select those that would form members of the community police.
Umahi said: “Since the last hours today, we have been having meetings with the Inspector-General of Police (IG), Adamu, and the five governors of South-east attended with the President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, in attendance. Others in attendance were the leaders of South-east, including Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Chief Jim Nwobodo, and traditional rulers.
“The meeting centred on the communiqué we issued after our Sunday meeting of governors and leaders of South-east at Enugu.
“We, the governors of South-east, and our leaders, were the first to accept community policing because of the beautiful ingredients of community policing.
“IG explained to us when we had the meeting at Enugu and we saw that the idea in the policy will assist us. So, when the CPs made a mistake by going to do the composition by themselves and asked the governors to inaugurate, we felt that something was wrong somewhere and we had to contact IG.
“At the local government level, we agreed that there will be a local government advisory committee to be headed by the local government chairman at each local government area. The DPOs (Divisional Police Officers) and other security agencies, the traditional rulers of that local government, and other stakeholders will be the members at that local government level.
“At the state level, you have the governor and the security chiefs, the chairman of traditional rulers’ council, and some selected stakeholders and interest groups.
“This is what we have agreed and we agreed that the South-east will implement theirs and inaugurate in their various states. When next we meet at Enugu, we will harmonise our views in line with these agreements we reached.”
Umahi also stated that part of the agreement was for each state to pass a law, called South-east Security Law, among other things, based on the guidelines, which would give the legal backing to community policing in the zone.