Former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has urged Nigerians especially well- to-do individuals to support Police in tackling crimes, saying , the police are facing a difficult task.
The former president said this on Monday during the maiden meeting of the Ogun State chapter of the Eminent Peoples’ Forum, and the launching of Police Complaint Rapid Response Unit and Change Begins with Me campaign, held in Abeokuta .
According to Obasanjo, for Nigeria Police to turn a new leaf and make the ‘Change Begins With Me’ campaign successful, the general public must support the Police by providing them timely information to nip crime in the bud, and report misdemeanour of its personnel to the dedicated telephone numbers for the campaign.
Obasanjo praised EPF as a good initiative from the current Inspector-General of the Police, Ibrahim Idris, said policing was a collective responsibility of everyone in the society.
He said, “This initiative is a very good one. The work of policing our community, local government, state and country is not the work of the police alone, it is for all of us. Let us all engage in helping the police to police our communities. Police have a very difficult task.
“If you want to go and get married and need security, you call the police, if your house is broken into, you call the police, if you have a quarrel with your wife, you call the police.”
In his remarks, the state Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Iliyasu, said the EPF comprised critical stakeholders such as community leaders, religious leaders, traditional rulers, elder statesmen, retired senior security officers, captains of industries as well as politicians.
He also said EPF “is the brain child of the Inspector- General of Police, arguing that “the orthodox concepts which regards security as the exclusive preserve of the police and security agencies has become obsolete and moribund.”
The Commissioner of Police said they would assist the police in proffering solutions to security challenges through mediation and social control in their communities.
Iliyasu, who said security guarantees sustainable development noted that the intiative would rid the country of crime and criminality.
The state governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Taiwo Adeoluwa called on the police authorities in the state to continue to tackle the nagging issues of kidnapping and land grabbing by ‘omo onile.’
Amosun said his administration had reduced crime and criminality in the state by providing equipment to the police, however admitting that ‘there are still issues.’