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South-West Governors, IGP collaborate on community policing

The South-West Governors Forum, says it has not created a regional police with the establishment of its Western Nigerian Security Network, codename: Amotekun, but rather States and communities based security endeavours.

The Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu stated this in Lagos while briefing newsmen alongside the Inspector-General of Police, Muhammed Adamu after a stakeholders’ meeting on community policing at the Lagos House, Alausa Ikeja.

The meeting was attended by the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, his Deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, while the Governors of Ogun, Oyo, Osun and Ekiti were represented by their Deputies.

The establishment of the Western Security Network on January 9 this year has been generating various concerns including its implications, operations and control mechanisms.

Rising from the meeting which was held behind closed doors, Governor Akereodulu who was flanked by his Lagos State Counterpart, all the Deputies Governor and the Inspector- General of Police, Mr Muhammed Adamu described the deliberations as very fruitful.

He explained that all the South-West State Governors had resolved to embrace community policing in its entirety and within legal bounds.

According to Governor Akerodolu, the IGP is now on the same page with the South-West Governors Forum over the establishment of Amotekun, as  all the stakeholders have agreed to address the few grey areas of concerns,

“Just as we have explained to ourselves, Amotekun is not a regional police, Amotekun is States based, if you have laws in your respective States backing any security outfits, then you can go ahead as long as it is within the legal bounds, I can assure you that we are on the same on these issues” Governor Akeredolu said.

Reiterating that community policing requires partnership, the Inspector-General of Police promised that the Nigeria Police would join hands with State Governments to combat crimes and criminality

The IGP said “Any structure brought by any State Government that is geared towards assisting and collaborating with security agencies to suppress crime, we will all participate, be it in training, be it in deployment”

The IGP also maintained that the current structure of Amotekun is not that of a regional police force, but community policing strategy which must be backed by law.

 Earlier, while welcoming participants, the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu restated his commitment to support the Nigeria Police in discharging its duties.

The meeting which was at the instance of the Inspector-General of Police is the second of its kind held over the issue of Amotekun.

Omolara Omosanya

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