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IGP seeks community support to tackle banditry in northwest

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Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar has called on communities and other stakeholders to collaborate with security agencies to tackle banditry in the northwest region.

Abubakar made the call during a Town-Hall Meeting on Peace and Security, on Wednesday in Zuru, Zuru Local Government Area of Kebbi State.

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He said the call was imperative in view of the important role play by stakeholders in enhancing security and peace restoration process in the society.

Abubakar said: “There is no way security agencies in the country can fight insecurity successfully without the cooperation of the stakeholders.

“State governments are encouraged to form vigilante groups for neighbourhood watch and make laws to regulate their activities so as to support law enforcement agencies in their respective states.

“In a situation where a group of people come together genuinely to protect themselves and there is no command of control then we will be moving towards a chaotic situation.

“The Federal Government has realised the importance of partnering with the community, that’s the reason it embarked on Community Policing,” he said.

Abubakar said that the implementation of the Community Policing structure encompasses the incorporation of certain security outfits from villages and wards for intelligence gathering.

He noted that such outfits would also be made to work with the traditional institutions and community leaders to enhance crime prevention and control.

“In the implementation of Community Policing, we have already launched the state advisory committee in Kebbi State, and similar committees also constituted in each Local Government Councils (LGCs) of the state.

“The Advisory Committee will comprise the Emir, other traditional rulers in different communities, market women and men, religious leaders and different communities that are available.

“The Community Policing Advisory Committee will also have another committee under the leadership of the LGC Chairman, who will head the selected people that will be trained as Community Policing officers,” he said.

The IGP explained that the committee was expected to generate intelligence, identify potential criminals as well as report suspicious persons, movements and activities to the Local Government Advisory Committee.

According to him, Community Policing is a deliberate idea to throw back policing to the community, adding that arrested suspects should be handed over to the advisory committee for necessary actions.

Also speaking, Gov. Atiku Bagudu, expressed dismay over the disruption of peace in Zuru Emirate by bandits and vigilante called ‘Yan Sakai.”

Bagudu noted that the emirate has a rich tradition and cultural heritage as well as the history of tolerance, multi-ethnic and multi-religious which contributed to the peaceful co-existence and unity of the country.

According to him, the only way to solve any problem is for the people to accept to live in peace and harmony with one another.

Bagudu said the state government would not condone acts capable of disrupting the peace, warning that criminals would be punished.

The governor commended the police and other security agencies for their efforts in ensuring peace and security in the state.

In a remark, the Emir of Zuru, Muhammad Sani-Sami II, called for investigations into suspected banditry and alleged extra-judicial killing in the area.

“We all know what spilt over to us from Zamfara State and this is what gave birth to the insecurity and consequence formation of vigilante.

“We should understand ourselves and address the menace of insecurity in order to live together as one,” he said.

The meeting was attended by members of National and State House of Assembly, representatives of security agencies, community and religious leaders as well as community development associations.

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