Dr Paul Okorie, a chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ebonyi, has described as a step in the right direction, the Federal Government’s proposed community policing scheme
Okorie spoke on Tuesday in Abakaliki, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
The APC chieftain said that the policy when implemented, would significantly address the many security challenges facing the country.
According to him, the initiative will complement the efforts of the regular police and other paramilitary security outfits in ensuring the provision of better security especially at the grassroots.
NAN reports that Mr Mohammed Adamu, the Inspector-General of Police ,recently directed state police commissioners to recruit constables for the proposed community policing.
Okorie, a former Commissioner for Environment in Ebonyi, said that it was one of the strategies put in place by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s led administration to address the various security challenges in the country.
Okorie, also a former Commissioner for Works, Housing and Transport ,called on the government to put proper modalities in place before implementing the programme.
The APC chieftain said that Nigeria had reached a crossroad owing to security challenges, stressing that concrete measures ought to be put in place to address the problem.
“We are in a very challenging time in our history as a nation, where we are faced every day with mindless killings, kidnappings and all forms of insecurity.
“The idea to embark on community policing is a very good initiative that will bring adequate security to the grassroots.
“But, my problem is that I have just read that it will be voluntary, which means that personnel involved in the scheme will not be earning money; their services will be free of charge.
“They will have to look at the arrangement critically because if you engage somebody to do a particular job, the person has to be motivated to do it effectively.
“And we are talking about security job which is a risky job and you are saying the person has to do it voluntarily, I don’t think it will produce the desired effect.
“Again, the persons to be recruited into the outfit will be expected to do the work, including taking risks that the regular police personnel take and at the end of the day they will not be paid.
“They should sit down and work out the modalities properly in such a way that it will be a little bit attractive for people to join.
“This will make the ‘constables’ not to devise illegal means of extorting money from poor, hapless and helpless members of the public
“Since the nation is being confronted by professional and full time criminals, these police `constables’ should be engaged on a regular basis instead of part time to effectively combat these criminals”, he said.
Okorie also backed the clamour for regional security outfits, stressing that the initiative would promote inter-state security as well as improve security of lives and property.
He said: “Regional security outfits is equally commendable and state governments involved will fund the security outfits effectively and pay their personnel well.
“What the Federal Government should do is to synergise with governments of each geopolitical zones wishing to establish regional security outfit to work out legal frame work that will be in tune with our constitution.”