FORMER deputy senate president Senator Ike Ekweremadu has lashed out at the five governors of the southeast geo-political zone for accepting the federal government’s community policing proposal saying the concept is fraudulent.
Last month, the six governors of the southwest geo-political zone agreed to launch a regional body called Amotekun to combat the growing menace of banditry, kidnapping and insecurity in their states. Highly popular with Nigerians who have been living with chronic insecurity, Amotekun sparked off calls for the creation of similar regional structures nationwide.
In the southeast geo-political zone, the five governors began moves to create a body that would be known as Operation Ogbunigwe, which would mirror Amotekun. However, after a meeting with the inspector-general of police Mohammed Adamu in Enugu, the governors decided to shelve these plans and instead opt for the federal government’s community policing programme.
Hitting out at the arrangement, Senator Ekweremadu said community policing is a fraud and total distraction. According to Senator Ekweremadu, the strategy will not work in a federation with so many diversities like Nigeria, pointing out that Nigerians are living in denial as the security situation is so bad and is going to get worse because nobody is dealing with it.
Senator Ekweremadu said: “Nigeria lives as a federal state. We accepted before independence that what is suitable for our circumstance is federalism and since we accepted federalism, we need to look at others practising federalism.
“In those other places, the way they deal with security is to decentralise it. The idea of forming a federal system of government is that you have accepted that you have so many diversities.
“To respect those diversities, you have to come into a loose arrangement to do things in a way that is peculiar to the people. Community policing is a fraud and is a total distraction.
“What they are telling us is that there is a problem between the community and the police itself and they need to address that lack of trust and confidence. That’s what community policing is all about. If you have a federal system, you have a complete architecture that can deal with situations in a complex manner.”
He added that the federal police we have now is not working, which is why the south-west came together to say let us have a security outfit to deal with our problems. Ekweremadu said that at the moment, the police appears not to have the means to deal with insecurity.
“Amotekun is different from what the federal government is saying about community policing. They have personnel who are going to deal with issues unlike what the federal government is proposing,” senator Ekweremadu added.