Minister for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Mohammed Musa Bello, has said previous efforts to introduce community policing in the capital territory failed, because the communities over-relied on the FCT Administration to provide all the necessary logistics.
He made this disclosure in Abuja, when a delegation of Council of Chiefs of the Pai Chiefdom in Kwali Area Council of the FCT, led by the Magajin Pai, Alhaji Bawa Yahaya, paid him a visit.
He urged the traditional and political leadership in the Area Councils to show more commitment to ensure the success of the programme, noting with adequate community policing, a lot of the security challenges currently being experienced in the FCT could be surmounted.
“The reality is that security now is everybody’s business. We have tried as much as possible to encourage community policing in the FCT but we have not had success. The challenge we faced, especially, with the community policing issue, is that many of the communities were just waiting for the federal government or maybe the state and in our own case, the FCT Administration to pay for everything.
“As you know, resources are very scarce. If the federal government through the system established by the Nigerian Police takes care of the training and maybe the kitting, other things including allowances should be taken up by the local community,” he said.
He appealed to the traditional and political leadership within the Area Councils to work together with other experts to organise community policing structures that would not only tackle insecurity but also provide credible intelligence to the security agencies.
He further advised FCT communities and the leadership of the Area Councils to work with experts within their various domains to identify able-bodied men and women and encourage them to be part of the community policing process.
“The advantage is that Mr. President, has approved the employment of 10,000 policemen every year. So, you find that the natural thing is that those that are trained as community policing constabulary can easily be absorbed into the main police.
“Even if initially, it is the community that is funding their transport, their logistics or even paying for whatever they require, when they go for training, the community will still benefit,because eventually, it is the same able-bodied men and women that will be absorbed by either the police or the military,” he added.
Earlier, the Sarkin Yakin Pai, Dr Husseini Halilu Pai, who spoke on behalf of the community, appreciated the relationship between the FCT Administration and the Pai Community as well as the show of love and concern by the FCT Minister to the community.