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FG Orders Recruitment of Constables for Community Policing

The Federal Government has directed the police hierarchy to commence the recruitment of special constables nationwide preparatory to  the implementation of its community policing policy.

The directive on community policing is coming as the Western Nigeria Security Network, codenamed Operation Amotekun, an initiative of the six South-West governors, is gaining momentum.

The governors had  set up Amotekun to complement the efforts of the police in tackling insecurity in the region.  The Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, who  reportedly  described it as “illegal” has since said he was misquoted.

The opposition to the takeoff of the security outfit  appears to have been cleared  after the  South-West governors met with Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, and Malami in Abuja on Thursday.

To begin  the recruitment of  constables, Adamu has directed state police commands to set up screening committees.

In a wireless message obtained, the IG ordered all state Commissioners of Police, Assistant Commissioners of Police and Divisional Police Officers to liaise with traditional rulers and community leaders in their domains to screen volunteers who would be engaged after passing the screening tests.

At least, 50 volunteers will be recruited from each of the 774 local government areas in the country. The recruitment earlier scheduled for August last year failed to take place.

The police wireless message with reference DTO:231704/01/2020, announcing the commencement of the recruitment, was copied to Zonal Assistant Inspectors-General of Police, departments and formations.

It read, “INGENPOL (IG) directs that you be informed that (the) Federal Government has given approval for recruitment of special constables as a step forward to enhancing (the) community policing policy nationwide.

“INGENPOL further directs all commands’ CPs, ACPs and DPOs in your respective commands to liaise with traditional rulers and community leaders in your respective areas to form screening committees that will screen volunteers who must be of good character and who will eventually be recruited as special constables.”

The message added, “All those to be recommended must be resident in their respective communities and must also be between the ages of 21 and 50 with (the) willingness to serve the community.”

The IG  told  the CPs, ACPs and DPOs to study the Police Act 49 and 50 for proper guidance while urging them to provide updates on his directives.

Pastors, Imams, teachers, lawyers, journalists and youths would be considered for the volunteer job.

But the special constables, who would not be armed, are expected to handle charge room and administrative duties, crowd control, accident scene duties, alternative dispute resolution and other less sensitive and less risky functions.

They will dress in police uniform but with a different force numbers to distinguish them from the regular cops.

Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba, said the candidates for the constabulary must be physically fit and gainfully employed.

Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, on Friday said the Progressives Governors’ Forum had decided to back  community policing.

Lalong, who is  the co-chairman of the  Progressives Governors Forum Governance Programme Steering Committee  after their meeting in Abuja, said they  also met  to approve the proposed 2020 work plan, programme of activities and design policies for  the implementation for good governance in states controlled by the All Progressives Congress.

He stated, “Here, we are not talking about Amotekun, we are talking about general insecurity. On the general term, what we did after a presentation from the security agencies is all of us appear to be talking about community policing.”

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