Amotekun: APC Governors reach consensus on community policing

Governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, are reaching consensus regarding the best strategy for tackling insecurity in their respective states.

Many of the Governors are also settling for “Community Policing”, according Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State.

Lalong disclosed this, Friday, in Abuja during the first quarterly meeting of the Governance Programme Steering Committee of the Progressive Governors’ Forum PGF.

The Governor, who is also the Chairman, Northern Governors’ Forum spoke to newsmen in his capacity as Co-Chairman of the governance steering committee.

According to him, the committee aims to develop a Common Policy Framework for the APC States.

“The overarching objective is to identify common issues of governance that can be replicated across all the APC controlled States,” he said.

“As we pointed out during the inaugural meeting of this Steering Committee, during the era of 2019-2023 we will want the work of the PGF Governance Programme Steering Committee to focus more on strengthening the capacity of our states to have increased commitment to implement approved initiatives.

“The PGF Secretariat would need to work with necessary experts to develop a strategic framework to address this”, he said.

Speaking on the regional security initiative, Amotekun, recently launched by Southwest Governors, the Plateau Governor said he was not in a position to speak on the programme of southern governors.

He added, “Ours is to design policies for implementation for good governance in APC states. Here, we are not talking about Amotekun, we are talking about general insecurity and so once we lay the foundation for the APC states and it is approved then we will begin to talk about implementation.

“Maybe at the level of approval, people will bring up Amotekun, people will bring different issues. I always try not to talk about what the south is doing; for me, I am not from that Zone, I am the Chairman of Northern Governors’ Forum who has a different opinion from what is obtained there.

“What we are laying down now in the framework is general insecurity because we are not unmindful of the situation in the country that is for every year we make a framework and tell them these are things that are current and these are things that APC governors should adopt in terms of preparing their budget and also in governance in their States.

“In general terms, what we did after a presentation from security agencies is, all of us appear to be talking about community policing. That one, we all agreed on, so we don’t want a situation where you start doing something and the federal government will say what you are doing is outside the law just like what they said about Amotekun. It is now that they are going to dialogue.

“Even if they are doing that, it has to be within the law. So, what is within the law as far as Governors are concerned is the issue of community policing. We are all agreed on that. Like my co-chairman said, when you go into implementation, you use different kinds of methods. I made a briefing in Lafia and I told them I have been using community policing for a very long time.

“In Jos, I have about three organizations. Three security outfits. I have the Headquarters of a Division; I have Operation Safe Haven established by the Federal government for only few states at that time, and I have what is called Operation Rainbow.

“For us, Operation Rainbow is like community policing because while Operation Safe Haven and Police are answerable to the Federal Government, Operation Rainbow is answerable to the Governor and it is a combination of different security organizations.

“So, what they do is intelligence gathering and we find that very effective because if you do not understand the intelligence, you will not understand how to even nip the security situation in the bud. So, because of this intelligence, before anything happens, we know because we have an early warning system.”

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