*FG Begins Recruitment for Community Policing
The establishment of zonal security outfit, Amotekun, by the South-Western states of Nigeria on Saturday gained the endorsement of the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG), which in turn said it would also float a security arrangement to be known as ‘Shege Ka Fasa’ to further cater for the peace and safety of the North.
Spokesperson to the group, Abdul-azeez Suleiman, said in a statement issued on Saturday that, “While we do not dispute the right of the south-west to initiate the Amotekun as a necessary alternative to secure their safety in the face of government’s control lapses, we nevertheless understand the need for such measures to abide by due processes that conform with relevant laws of the land.
“The acceptable position remains that only legally constituted outfits and lawfully sanctioned organisations under the direct control of the federal government, as recognised by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, can be so organised, armed and fitted.
He however warned that “Any extra judicial arrangement by which regions set up state-sponsored armed militia groups may therefore not be tolerated as it only confirms suspicions of a wider agenda similar to that of IPOB, to cajole other parts of the country to submit to their ambition for political ascendancy.
“If indeed the aim of the south–west leaders is to use Amotekun as weapon to coarse the nation into ceding the presidency to them in future, CNG finds it pedestrian and tactless as brigandage will only jeopardise their chances the way IPOB did to south-east politics.
“On the contrary, any section of the country that is able to present a credible alternative shall certainly gain the support of Nigerians without the need for resorting to bluffing.”
The group said the proposed Northern security outfit became necessary in the face of security threats that have defied solution in the country, adding that extra measures for self preservation has become the imperative for the zone, the same is has for the South-West which brought Amotekun on board.
The group insisted that the federal government’s apparent failure to secure and protect the lives and property of all citizens was responsible for this.
The statement said “Failure of the authorities to provide proof of its capacity to protect citizens in all parts of the north as minimum evidence that they are serious about their responsibilities, would leave people with no option than to resort to forming an Arewa Security Initiative to secure their people’s lives with the proposed code named, “Shege Ka Fasa.”
“In 2015, Nigerian voters trusted President Muhammadu Buhari to lead them out of these limitations, into a future in which we will live and pursue livelihoods in a united Nigeria whose human and material resources will be protected by our leaders.
“Regrettably, five years on, the story is that of poverty ravaging communities, hunger stalking millions of homes, inflation making life difficult, people losing jobs, businesses closing down, infrastructure decaying, young Nigerians losing hope, which are responsible for the current security situation.
“Worth recalling also, is that long before the current deterioration, the government has been advised severally to take definite steps to end the conflict between farmers and the pastoral communities which it shunned.
“Instead government came up with various ambiguous policies in the form of Ruga, Livestock Transformation, etc that all ended in controversy, and were never implemented.
“Having evidently failed to do that, the ensuing level of fear and uncertainty pervading the country now spark concerns that government’s willingness and the quality of coordination of efforts, management of resources and the capacities and integrity of the mechanisms charged with the nation’s security do not do justice to the magnitude of the problems, or address the sense of urgency in dealing with an escalating disaster.”
The group pointed out that, “In the prevailing circumstances, the north is even more genuinely entitled to be angry at the rate its people are attacked, killed, towns and villages vandalised, innocent citizens including children abducted, and terrorised, families traumatised and communities displaced on a daily basis.
“All this while the north has persevered in a dangerous security environment fuelled by outside interests that thrive on the supply of such deadly merchandise as hard drugs and other harmful substances and the proliferation of arms into the region.
“With the current level of anger, frustration and uncertainty that is fueling communal disharmony and mutual distrust, CNG believes that the north should as well take similar steps to arrange for the protection of the region and its people from these daily attacks and destruction.
Meanwhile, the federal government has directed the police hierarchy to commence the recruitment of special constables nationwide in order to implement its community policing policy.
Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Adamu has directed state police commands to set up screening committees for this purpose, asking all state commissioners of police, assistant commissioners of police and divisional police officers to liaise with traditional rulers and community leaders in their domains to screen volunteers who would be engaged after passing screening tests.
The Punch newspaper quoted a police wireless message with reference DTO:231704/01/2020, to have annouced the commencement of the recruitment. It said the message read, “INGENPOL (IG) directs that you be informed that (the) Federal Government has given approval for recruitment of special constables as a step forward to enhancing (the) community policing policy nationwide.
“INGENPOL further directs all commands’ CPs, ACPs and DPOs in your respective commands to liaise with traditional rulers and community leaders in your respective areas to form screening committees that will screen volunteers who must be of good character and who will eventually be recruited as special constables.
“All those to be recommended must be resident in their respective communities and must also be between the ages of 21 and 50 with (the) willingness to serve the community.”
The special constables, who would not be armed, are expected to handle charge room and administrative duties, crowd control, accident scene duties, alternative dispute resolution and other less sensitive and less risky functions. They will dress in police uniform but with a different force numbers to distinguish them from the regular cops.