As part of the laudable efforts to rebuild, redefine and restore the badly fractured mutual trust and confidence between the Nigerian public and the Nigerian Police Force following the fallout of the wanton destruction of public and private properties in Lagos as a result of the #EndSars Protests attack, the Victoria Island Chapter of the Police Community Relations Committee led by Mr. Matthew Ibadin organised a motivational workshop tagged: “Motivational Workshop and Community Policing for Quality Service Delivery” for Personnel within Zone 2.
The Assistant Inspector General of Police, in charge of Zone 2 Command Headquarters, AIG Ahmed Iliyasu has called on officers of his command to return to policing the communities in Lagos and Ogun States.
AIG Iliyasu also said the police officers should put the past behind them in the spirit of nationhood and assiduously work to correct the negative perception about police officers and policing.
He said, “We must have a change of attitude to our duty and put the people as the centre point of our policing.”
The police boss gave hundreds of officers and men this advice at the Nigeria Police Force Zone 2, Onikan on Tuesday during a motivational workshop and community policing for quality service delivery.
He emphasized that policing strategy should be people centred, satisfactory to the people and good enough to remove the fear and uncertainty in the mind of the people anytime they have contact with the police.
The workshop organised in tandem with the community policing intervention of the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, AIG Iliyasu noted that policing can be done in a manner that does the least harms and even prevent violence.
Noting further, the streets should not be deserted by the security agents. He expressed that police must be available and respond to distress calls or request for assistance regardless of status or background, ensure accessibility and high police visibility.
A security expert Ona Ekhomu in his paper titled #EndSARS Mass Action And The Governance Of Internal Security In Lagos identified that wanton destruction and looting in the aftermath of the protest was not targeted at the police agency but based on the obvious fact that the attack were specifically on the Federal Government of Nigeria.
According to him, the hoodlums attacked the police as an observable and exploitable arm of government.
Ekhomu said that the police only bore the brunt of governance issues ranging from the poor remuneration of police, the unemployment of youths, the hunger in the land, the poverty, the anger, the inequality which are not under the control of the police agency.
In his words, “It was convenient for the hoodlums to attack the police as the nearest representative of government. When people are angry, they lash out at anything close by their wives, their children, their drivers, their workers, their dogs anything. It is a psychological compensational mechanism after which they feel better.”
He, however, pleaded with the security personnel, “Go back to work to make your communities safe. Like we say, without security nothing works.”
He acknowledged the various state governments overtures to assist families of fallen or injured officers.
Particularly full of commendation for the AIG’s dedication to public service, zeal to serve his community and the Nigerian nation, the National President of the Association of Industrial Security and Safety Operators of Nigeria (AISSON) also conferred on the AIG the honour of being a Fellow of AISSON.
He reminded all stakeholders: “It should be noted that politicians will not give the police what it deserves, but what it lobbies for. The community holds the key to effectively speaking out for the police.”
One of the brains behind the workshop and chairman of PCRC Victoria Island, Matthew Ibadin said the workshop has given the police officers a reason to smile again and police the states, noting that given the rights incentives especially with regards to their welfare package, equipment and all that is commensurate with policing in advance countries, like Canada, the Police Force will keep lives and properties safe.