The Ogun State governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun and the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Adeleye Oyebade yesterday insisted that the sweeping #EndSARS protest in the country had made the establishment of state and community policing inevitable. According to them, Nigeria was ripe enough for community policing as only community and state policing would address the demands of the youths. The duo spoke at a Peace Consolidation meeting with youth leaders, members of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and other stakeholders to address the violent protest in the state. The meeting was attended by traditional rulers, members of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), religious leaders and students among others. Abiodun noted that the #EndSARS protest had renewed the call for the reconsideration of the state police and community police apparatus.
In his view, the reform in the police must start with the establishment of the state and community police as the #EndSARS protest had revealed that the current police structure is overwhelmed, hence the need for the establishment of state and community police. Abiodun said: “The #EndSARS protest has brought to the fore some germane questions about our police system and Administration. “Apart from excesses of some police officers that are under focus with the #End- SARS protest, there is also the issue of the reform and structure of the police.
Speaking in the same vein, the DIG Oyebade said community policing would close the gap between the people and the police. He disclosed that the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu had begun the process of reforming the police, saying “the reform you (youths) are clamouring is already on the table, the reform is now and the IGP is already doing just that.” He went on: “I happen to be in charge of research and planning and community policing is under my purview, I’m telling you already, the community policing is going to involve all of you, we want it to be community driven and the youths are the highest number in the community so we have to bring you into the position to contribute your quota.
I’m assuring you that community policing is going to address all these issues you have raised here today. “The way forward is community policing so that we can close gap with members of the public, especially the youths. The way forward is community policing so that we can get the challenges that are affecting your progress in community policing in your areas.