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Plateau Police Commissioner calls for improved Community Policing

by Christiana Gokyo, Jos

The Plateau State Police Commissioner, CP Bartholomew O. Onyeka, has asked the 17 Local Government Council Chairmen – if they can deploy the concept of Community Policing effectively, as “it will put an end to the farmers/herders conflict, especially now that farming season is at hand.” 

He said, the Social and Security Committee was to address any issues of the farm destruction for the herder to pay, adding that “This is to ensure that we don’t focus only one kinetic approach.” 

The Commissioner was speaking to the 17 Local Government Council Chairmen in a meeting at the Police Officers Mess, Jos, on Monday in a bid to encourage proactive and effective Community Policing in Plateau State.

According to him, the meeting was to address all the security challenges peculiar to each local government, saying that, most of the Policy Divisions in the State do not have vehicles to enable them respond to any security distress calls or patrol. 

“Most of the Divisions and Outposts were close, but upon my coming I opened three Divisions and also donated vehicles to these Divisions,” he said.

He noted that, “Whatever you see as an achievement on the Plateau is our own personal efforts, because the local government chairmen are not supportive. You are not providing us with information to move the mountains that are considered not movable.

“I went round, and nobody is coming forth with any useful information. Imagine the numbers of chairmen here – out of 17 LGAs, they have no interest in what we are doing. And there has never been any Council Chairman coming to meet me and asking how do we move forward by proffering solutions,” he stated.

The CP said, “If you empower the local vigilantes and hunters in your areas, they will do wonders; they have been helpful and useful to our success stories. 

“Plateau is very safe; every other thing we are hearing about Plateau State is a manmade. The farming season is around the corner, and that is when the challenges will start.”

The Commissioner further explained that, “On arrival here for the past one-and-half year, I recovered lost arms, vehicles, arrested arm dealers in your various LGAs and you are there. There are places in this Plateau State that their activities are arm-dealing, and I arrived here with full might but you’re not encouraging me.” 

He observed thus: “Some of them are not in good terms with the DPOs I deployed to your LGAs; you are only running to the CP – ‘Remove this DPO because he is not doing your biddings.’ ” 

He told the Local Government Chairmen that, if they are not working, he will inform the IG that he is withdrawing all Police attached to the Chairmen to enable them guard the general public, because they are not helping in the policing of their communities. 

The CP stressed that, “Any right thinking person in Plateau State should be tired of these killings, except if the elites are the ones sponsoring those doing all these things; and when I leave Plateau, you will regret it. 

“My own concern is to ensure that everybody on the Plateau is safe, and there is the need to work as a team. Your local government chairmen are the ones very close,” he noted, adding that, “Local Government chairmen are 3 million miles away from me as against people who are very closer to the people to actualize the concept of Community Policing.”

Responding, the Chairman of Bokkos, Joseph Golwa, along with chairmen of Barkin Ladi, Riyom, Bassa and Shendam, respectively, said the meeting was one of the government’s effort by ensuring that peace is restored across all the 17 Local Government Areas of the state, especially those areas that are facing the number of challenges recently.

They said the meeting was fruitful with what they have put on ground, and if it is being implemented, it would be helpful in restoring peace across the 17 LGAs.

According to them, they also look at other issues that concern their relationships across the local governments.

Conscience Triumph noted that, the meeting had in attendance the 17 Local Government Council Chairmen, all Area Commanders, PMF Commander, DPOs, and Tactical Team Commanders.

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