*As CSOs Honour Imo CP, Danjuma

By Dorcas Samson Achi

African Youths Initiative On Crime Prevention (AYICRIP) in partnership with Rule of Law And Accountability Advocacy Center (RULAAC) and Nigerian Police Force, Imo State Command, on Thursday, May, 23, 2024, held the maiden Imo State Police, Youth and Women Dialogue on Insecurity and Crime Prevention in Owerri with the theme “Addressing Insecurity And Crime Prevention Through Partnership Building”.

The Convener of the epoch dialogue and Executive Director, AYICRIP, Ambassador Chris Chidi Ibeh, in his address, expressed gratitude to the Commissioner of Police, CP, Aboki Danjuma for exhibiting professionalism and excellence in the discharge of his duties, stressing his quick response and results on issues of security in Imo.

He thanked the youths for their involvement in the meeting, charging them to utilize their energy, creativity, passion and brain to take charge of security actions to ensure safe and sustainable environment for all. 

He expressed gratitude to women leaders present, lauding their pivotal roles as care givers, life builders and community developers, encouraging them to assist in their capacity to ensure the security of lives and property. 

He suggested that after the meeting there should be Police and Youth Accountability Forum where the CP will be an Admin, and the Youth and women leader will be Co-Admins, so that there will be quick information and immediate response on security issues.

The Executive Director, RULAAC, Okechukwu Nwanguma, in his remark, stated that RULAAC recognises the importance of partnership, constructive engagement and collective action by all stakeholders and actors in the security scene, hence identified and assembled some of the key stakeholders including the youth, women, religious and traditional leaders, and police officers to have an effective dialogue and work collaboratively to end insecurity and youth involvement in crime and violence in Imo State.  

He stated that insecurity is rooted in and fuelled by socio-economic and political factors, including social inequalities, unemployment, poverty, corruption, injustice, oppression and lack of access to essential social amenities such as education and health, hence, strategic steps should be taken including youth and community engagement, dialogue in ultimately addressing the socio-economic and political root causes and factors that breed insecurity and crime. 

He urged the government to ensure that funding, training, equipment and the welfare of police officers are prioritised, adding that radical improvement in police welfare is the surest means to humanise the police and fight corruption. 

The Keynote Speaker, Dr. Emmanuel Ibeh, RTD Director, Police Service Commission while delivering his speech on “Insecurity and Crime Prevention Through Partnership Building” emphasized that for effective security and crime prevention, good relationship must exist between the police and the larger society. 

He stated that trust deficit between the police and the public is not commendable, adding that, there should be effort to build trust and healthy working relationship between the police and civilians. Funding, equipment and 

He advised the masses to look inward and see how to assist the police because they are not given their due, stressing that some of them use their personal income to carry out official duties. He said that funding, training, provision of necessary equipments and welfare of Police officers must be prioritized by the government to ensure efficiency.

According to him, Police is one of the most important elements of government in the world because of the great roles they play in securing lives and property at the expense of their own lives. 

Ibeh noted that Imo State has improved in security situation since CP Danjuma assumed office as Commissioner of Police in the State, adding that he is different, professional and committed to security service. 

He expressed gratitude to the organizers of the program especially for involving women and youths who he said have key roles to play in security of the state. 

The Commissioner of Police, CP Aboki Danjuma represented by Assistant Commissioner of Police, Edwin J. Mpat thanked the organizers of the program for such initiative and appreciated the award given to CP and the Command by extension, saying that the award will spur the CP and Command to do more. 

He vehemently condemned some youths who allow themselves to be brainwashed to fight and kill traditional rulers, pastors and their fellow civilians in their quest to fight for succession.

His words “When we talk of insecurity, the youths are at the forefront of the issue. The youths are becoming enemies of the society instead of agents of change. Security is a collective responsibility. Let the youths channel their energies, passion, strength and capacity towards supporting the police to ensure a safe society. 

“The support of the youths and women are important to the police to carry out our constitutional mandate. We need you and you need us to fight crime. Police is your friend. Police is like water. Our love for you is constitutional. We take risks daily and nightly to ensure you are secured. We have rotten eggs everywhere including the church so do not hate the Police, show us love and support. Together we shall build a secured society”

Comrade Humphrey Osuji, Chairman, National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYAN) Imo State Chapter, who was present at the dialogue, commended the governor of Imo State for his courage in fighting security. He appreciated CP Danjuma for his pragmatism and patriotism, saying that Imo Youths repose absolute confidence in his capacity. 

He stated that the youths are unhappy for non-inclusion of the youths in decision making process and for not being given enabling environment to function as youths. 

He stated that the youths are not empowered but denied necessary advantages, used and abandoned by people who should be leaders of the society, hence the reason of the restiveness amongst youths.

He revealed that his leadership has started enlightening the youths on ways to contribute effectually to the society through appreciable engagements, constructive dialogues and result oriented approaches.

The National President, National Association of Imo State Students (NAISS), Comrade Obi Okechukwu Anthony in his contribution, expressed grievances and concerns on alleged incessant harassments of students within Imo Campuses by Police Officers and stated that instead of unnecessary harassments, the students should be involved in campus safety initiatives to work in synergy with security operatives to ensure security of students lives.