By: Ben Ukeji
Worried by the spate of security challenges in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello, has challenged the recently inaugurated Area Council Chairmen in the Territory to build a strong synergy with the Traditional Rulers and Community Leaders for the effective implementation of the community policing initiative of the Federal Government.
A statement from Rabi Musa Umar, an Assistant Director Information, in the office of the Minister, indicated that the Minister gave the charge Thursday in Abuja, when he received a delegation of Council of Chiefs of Pai Chiefdom, in Kwali Area Council of the FCT who paid him a visit.
According to Umar, the delegation, which was led by the Magajin Pai, Alhaji Bawa Yahaya, said the visit was to appreciate the leadership of the FCT Administration’s unwavering support to the Pai Chiefdom and Kwali Area Council in general.
The statement further quoted the Minister of saying that, “with adequate community policing, a lot of the security challenges currently being experienced in the FCT could be surmounted”
Mallam Bello, while noting that security is now everybody’s business, said the traditional and political leadership within the Area Councils must work together with other experts to organize community policing structures that will not only tackle insecurity but also provide credible intelligence to the security agencies.
The Minister, who lamented that efforts to introduce the community policing initiative in the FCT in the past failed to yield the desired result due to the communities’ over reliance on the FCT Administration for the provision of every logistics including allowances, urged the traditional and political leadership in the Area Councils to show more commitment towards the success of the scheme.
His words: “The reality is that security now is everybody’s business. We have tried as much as possible to encourage community policing in the FCT but we have not had success. The challenge we faced, especially with the community policing issue, is that many of the communities were just waiting for the Federal Government or maybe the State and in our own case, the FCT Administration to pay for everything. As you know, resources are very scarce. If the Federal Government through the system established by the Nigerian Police takes care of the training and maybe the kitting, other things including allowances should be taken up by the local community”.
The Minister, therefore, advised FCT Communities and the leadership of the Area Councils to work with experts within their various domains to identify able bodied men and women and encourage them to be part of the community policing process.
He explained that those that would participate in the scheme stands to benefit from the recruitment and employment of 10,000 policemen yearly approved by the President.
The Minister said the natural thing is that, those that are trained as community policing constabulary can easily be absorbed into the main police force.
While pledging the support of the FCT Administration to ensure the success of community policing in the FCT, Mallam Bello also promised the intervention of the FCT Administration in the provision of access roads and educational facilities in the community.
Earlier, leader of the delegation, the Sarkin Yakin Pai, Dr Hussaini Halilu Pai, appreciated the relationship between the FCT Administration and the Pai Community as well as the show of love and concern by the FCT Minister to the community.
He said the visit by the Minister to the community following the death of its Chief, HRH Alh. Abdullahi Bala Ibrahim Pai, was a clear demonstration of good leadership and care for the people of Pai and the entire residents of the FCT
Dr. Pai pledged the support of Pai community for all activities by government to curb insecurity in the FCT, while calling on the Administration to continue to provide basic infrastructure in the community.