Lawmaker calls for community policing, other efforts to enforce state laws


David Ejiohuo

In the heat of debate over a bill passed by the Rivers State House of Assembly to establish a state security outfit called Rivers State Neighbourhood Watch, whereby the opposition said it was a state army, a lawmaker has come out to demand for what he called Community Policing to be headed by a community chief in each community.

The lawmaker said it should also include other stakeholders in every community including the youths, development committee, church leaders, etc. He did not remember that most of these institutions are divided in most communities in Rivers State.

He said the suggestion was due to the need for all hands to be on deck in the efforts to enforce laws made in the state and in the process achieve the much needed peace in the communities.

The member of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Friday Nkei, stressed this need during the week when he spoke with the press at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa.

According to Nkei who represents Khana constituent II in the State House of Assembly, there must be inclusive efforts to enforce laws made in the state to pave way for the much-needed peace and in the process to restore the industrial era the state was known for in the past.

The lawmaker emphasized the need to enforce the laws through what he described as community policing that would involve the chief, the community development committee (CDC), the youths and the leaders of the churches and the law enforcement personnel. “Community policing is the best for now because they live in the communities and know who is who and at the same time, know the terrain”.

He pointed out that the State House of Assembly was solely saddled with the responsibility to make the laws but that the challenges to enforce the laws made, was with the executive and the law enforcement agents. “For the executive to effectively achieve this task, it need to be proactive and to be proactive, it must be inclusive in the effort to achieve this by involving “the community policing method”.

According to him, the much-talked about State Police could have been helping but regretted that it has not been given due attention. He stressed the need for everybody to help in the matter of security; and that it should not be left in the hands of only the police and the army or the civil defence alone. “with total commitment of all stake holders, we can achieve peace; especially with the recent laws made by the state house of assembly on Anti cultism and Anti Kidnapping laws”.

It is not clear if his stand is for or against the Bill now on the governor’s table for assent