The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammad Adamu, appeared before the Senate in plenary on Wednesday over increasing insecurity in Nigeria.
His appearance was in response to a summon by the Senate last week.
Mr Adamu arrived in plenary at 11:08 a.m. in the company of other security officers after which the meeting continued behind closed doors.
The Senate had invited the police IG to discuss national insecurity, the need to restructure the security architecture in the country as well as the concept and modalities of community policing.
The lawmakers dedicated the whole of last Tuesday to discuss the said issue. While the Minority leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe called on President Muhammadu Buhari to resign as president, the Senate asked him to dismiss the service chiefs and appoint new ones.
The Senate also set up an ad-hoc committee to engage security agencies and find ways to end the menace.
After the closed-door meeting which lasted about four hours, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, said the committee of the whole was briefed by the police IG on the “security challenges in the country on the concept and practical implementation and modalities of community policing policy.”
Thereafter, he answered questions bordering on national security challenges, assaults on major roads across the country, illegal circulation of firearms and encouraging synergy between the federal and state governments from senators.
He said the debate resolved to support the Nigerian police through legislative interventions and the police force was further encouraged to be more proactive operationally to protect the lives and properties of citizens.
Concept of community policing
Addressing journalists, the police IG said the meeting was on the concept of community policing. The concept, he said, is to give policing back to the community – let the community take the initiative in identifying the problems that are there that can lead to the commission of crimes while the police work with the community to solve the crime.
“We believe that everybody comes from a community and the community is a community you know who and who is there. Taking policing back to the community will help in reducing crime to the barest minimum.
“So I have explained the concept of community policing to the Senate, which involves partnership with communities and there are various communities. You can have traditional institutions as a community. You can have the National Union of Road Transport Workers as a community. You can have the media as a community and various communities that you can have partnership with,” he said.
“This means that the police will scan the community to find out the indices that can lead to the commission of crimes or a crime that has been committed already, analyse the problems and then we look for solutions and the responses that are available,” Mr Adamu explained.
“Then we deploy resources to deal with the problems and then subsequently we re-evaluate all our responses to see how we can adjust to solve the problem. And in doing this, we need to capacitate our officers so as to key into the process. This is essentially what I explained to the Senate.”
If implemented, Mr Adamu said, community policing will bring stability in crime situation. This is even as he called for the inclusion of other arms of government.
“What we are saying especially with the concept of community policing is that fighting crime should not be left to law enforcement agencies alone. It should not be left to security personnel alone. Everybody should be involved. What are the things that lead to the commission of crime? Are all issues to be dealt with by security agencies alone? No.
“There are other arms of government that need to deal with – state governors, local government chairmen should take up their responsibilities. People that are committing these crimes, there are reasons that make them to commit these crimes. If it is lack of employment, if it is lack of education or those issues that will require intervention by the government, the state governor should take responsibility. Local government chairmen should take responsibility. Not that everything will be left to security agencies alone.”
Both the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, met with the president afterwards to relay the resolutions of the lawmakers.
Mr Gbajabiamila later said the president is as worried as any other person about insecurity in the country.
Prior to this period, community policing has been a major point of security discourse with many Nigerians calling for it on the assumption that it is the long-awaited solution to stem the tide of insecurity.
Even the police IG had emphasised the need to strengthen community policing. He had said the advantages of community policing outweigh the idea of state police, and that the disadvantages of state policing are more than the perceived advantages.