Poised to address security challenges in the state, the Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has secured the backing of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) for its community policing scheme.
The governor, disclosed this while inaugurating the Edo State Community Policing Advisory Committee (SCPAC) and Edo State Community Policing Committee at the Government House, Benin City.
Governor Obaseki reassured that his administration remains committed to the protection of lives and property of ordinary citizens of the state, noting that there is no form of invasion of Edo State by armed bandits or any other militia group.
Governor Obaseki said the setting up of the SCPAC and the SCPC marked another step toward the actualisation of the grassroots policing system in the state, noting that Edo is set to be a model of community policing in Nigeria.
The governor said the dwindling revenue at all levels of government means that the federal government will have less to fund the Federal Police, hence the need for the community policing.
He said the state government has already wet the ground as it plans to integrate community policing arrangement into an existing security structure in the state for maximum result.
While counselling members of the committee against using the platform to advance their personal agenda, Obaseki assured the state government will continue to invest in the training and welfare of security officers.
The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, represented by Deputy Inspector of General of Police, South-South, Anthony Ogbizi, described community policing as a re-invention of an old model where communities were considered frontline stakeholders in security of the society.
He directed the immediate setting up of sub-committees at Command and other levels as well as the establishment of modalities for recruitment of personnel.
In their separate remarks, Edo state Commissioner of Police, Lawal Jimeta and the AIG Zone 5, Dibal Yakadi expressed hope that the model will augment the currently under-staffed Police Force and reduce the crime rate.
The committees had representatives from religious and traditional institutions, civil society groups as well as other sister security agencies.