By Marcel Samuel
The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has called on Traditional Rulers to continue to partner with the Police in its quest to combat crime and criminalities in their respective localities for a better Nigeria.
Speaking at the 9th General Assembly of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria (NCTRN) in Port Harcourt, the Police boss said, the primary responsibility of the Police as the core law enforcement agency in Nigeria is to provide the needed security in our communities, therefore it is only wise to partner with the Traditional Rulers who understand their territory more than any other.
IGP Idris who said the theme of the programme, “Community Policing As A Catalyst To Crime Prevention-The Role Of Traditional Rulers”, was very apt, added that it is relevant to the burning issues of security and the need to find lasting solutions to its challenges.
“The primary responsibility of the Police as the core Law Enforcement Agency in Nigeria is to provide this needed security in our communities as envisioned by Mr President. This is provided in Section 4 of the Police Act which states that the duties and responsibilities of the Police are the prevention and detection of crime, the apprehension and prosecution of offenders, the preservation of law and order, the protection of life and property and the due enforcement of all laws and regulations. However these responsibilities cannot be carried out without the support and cooperation of the Traditional Rulers and their subjects.
“This approached is aimed at soliciting the support of the Traditional Rulers and their subjects in the communities, in the fight against crime. Community Policing involves the engagement and the partnership of the community in the systematic examination of identified and identifiable problems in the community and how to effectively deal with the problems.
“In this approach, the Police is increasingly engaging the Traditional Rulers, Religious based organizations, market women, Students, Non-Governmental Organization through town halls meetings, visitations, and private consultations to discuss the prevailing crimes in their communities.
“The question that may therefore be asked is why do I keep engaging the Traditional Rulers and their Institutions in my prevention and detection of crime strategies? The answer is simple. It is in recognition of the very crucial roles the Traditional Rulers play in the Security Architecture of the Country. The Traditional Rulers as the custodian of culture of the people are the closest to the people, they know their people and their people know them,” IGP Idris explained.
The Police boss said it is not just good enough to provide information, but to be willing to give evidence when called upon in the court as this will help facilitates speedy prosecution of offenders.
“The cooperation we seek must go beyond just giving the information. It must be escalated to ensuring that the offender is not only arrested but prosecuted in accordance with the laws of the Land. The Traditional Rulers and their Institutions must not only encourage their subjects to give information, they must also encourage them to give evidence when required to do so in courts.”