In a view to strengthening the security architecture of Abuja, the seat of power of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Federal Capital Police Command has constituted and launched its ‘Eminent People Forum’ aimed at involving members of the public in the task of policing.
FCT Commissioner of Police, Muhammad Mustafa while launching the project yesterday said the forum was geared towards giving a novel face to the task of providing security in the FCT, stressing that a society like ours had gone beyond leaving everything for the police to do while members of the public watch from a distance.
CP Mustafa said the establishment of the forum was in compliance with the directives of acting Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris.
“In compliance with this directive, I immediately instructed all area commanders and divisional police officers in FCT to constitute the Eminent People Forum at their respective levels. I am sure that most of us seated here will attest to the fact the compliance has been total. Today’s gathering is the grand finale of what the FCT police
command has started at the area command, divisional and grass root levels.
“The constitution of this forum is part of measures to bring opinion leaders together who will form a formidable team that will meet at intervals to brainstorm and come up with viable ideals and information that will further help the police to serve FCT residents better.
“It therefore behooves on you as members of this forum to see beyond being just members of the communities you represent, and appreciate the fact that when it comes to the issue of security in FCT, you have a sensitive role to play, especially as it relates to supporting and assisting the police with viable ideas and information.
The FCT police chief assured that his administration would close the gap between the residents and the police and that he would want to see a relationship where police officers visit the community leaders and vice versa.
“Let the relationship be cordial so that they can attend to you when you are in distress. We are working towards having all houses within the territory numbered and our target is let every sector have a vehicle each to respond to distress calls at all times.
During an interactive session, participants pledged support to the police in working together for the safety and security of the territory.
DIG Yusuf Ali (rtd) in a good will message said the forum wa long overdue, stating that there was no police all over the world that could operate maximally without involving the people.
“The people own the police but I am not sure it is like that in Nigeria. People here see police as people from a different world. We see the police as ‘them versus us.’ The police are for and we ought to use them for our good. We need to know the types of logistics and personnel our police need. I am afraid to say that the morale of our officers is going down.”
Retired AIG Theophilus Kayode on his part chided the police officers for not making themselves available to the public, thereby making it difficult for the members of the public to relate well with the police.
He sighted example of when he was Jigawa State Commissioner of Police, how he toured the state making available his phone number to everybody, including children in the 28 local government areas of the state.
According to him, people nicknamed him ‘Bail is Free’ because he would always tell people that if anybody collects money from them for bail, the person should report to him and he would punish such officer.
“When we create fear into members of the public, they will not come to you. Police, we need to change our attitude towards the public,” he advised.
Meanwhile, president of the Market Women Association of Nigeria, Chief Felicia Sani has declared that Nigeria Police is ill-equipped, stating that police officers and men fund their kits from head to toe, which she said was not right.

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