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Community policing will discourage attacks on officers – Ex-defence minister

A former minister of defence, Adetokunbo Kayode has stated that the attacks on police officers can be averted through community policing.

Recall that the inspector-general of police (IGP), Usman Baba in April disclosed plans of the federal government to implement community policing across the country.

This was stated by the former minister while speaking at a media briefing on Sunday at his country home in Ikaram Akoko, Ondo state.

Kayode said the federal government needs to adopt community policing to address the security challenges in the country.

There has been a series of attacks on security agencies in recent months, especially in the southern region.

Kayode, also a former minister of justice, said if the officers are natives of the regions where they are posted, there will be reluctance to attack them.

“Let’s change the template — take a decision. We must have this community policing, and we can call it any name. For instance, all the police officers I have met who have been very nice, very kind, who have provided security for us are all from the north,” he said.

“Luckily for me, I’m a northerner too. I speak Hausa; I lived in the north all my life. There’s no big deal about it, but imagine when we have officers for instance in this village who cannot speak the local language. They don’t know anybody; they are strangers; how will they communicate?

“It’s the same thing when you have the bulk of the officers serving in the north, who are from the south-west and south-east. They can’t speak the local language; they don’t know anybody,

“And you see the first law of intelligence is information is being able to hear, to understand. That has to be changed. All state commissioners of police should be posted to their regions for starters.

“Policemen are being killed in some parts of the country. Let me assure you. If those policemen are from those areas, they will be reluctant to attack them. So, let’s start with that first. But community policing is a done deal. It will happen.”

He also advised the government to recruit more personnel into the armed forces, noting that the military is overstretched by the challenges facing the country.

“The military is already over-tasked and they are short-staffed. We know this and government knows this. I knew this when I was there and I tried in my own way to suggest how this should be done. Let us democratise recruitment into Nigerian military service,” he said.

“Stop taking money to allow people to join our services. It is wrong. It was there when I was there. I tried everything within my power, but again, when you spend one year in a place, you aren’t going to do much. I’m not giving an excuse. What I’m saying is this is one of the ways forward.

“Right now, I don’t know maybe we have up to 100,000 military personnel. What is that? A country of 200 million and we have our youths roaming the streets.”

Kayode was appointed as minister of defence in 2010, when Goodluck Jonathan was acting president.

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