The Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has described the creation of additional zonal commands of the Nigeria Police, including Zone 17 comprising Ondo and Ekiti States, as a strategic move that would strengthen community policing in the country.
Governor Fayemi disclosed this on Tuesday when he received the pioneer AIG of the newly created Zone 17, Assistant Inspector General of Police David Folawiyo, in his office in Ado-Ekiti.
The governor. who commended the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, for the creation of new zonal commands, also lauded the new AIG’s vast professional experience in community policing, investigation as well as in the INTERPOL.
He noted that AIG Folawiyo’s extensive knowledge, experience and exposure would be of huge benefit to the states under the new zone.
The Governor said he is optimistic the new AIG would contribute to the development agenda of the zone because the two states are inexplicably inter-twined culturally and security wise.
Fayemi said: “We are delighted that this has finally happened.
“For us, it is a bold step in bringing the police closer to the community.
“Before now, we used to be part of Zone 8, which has its base in Lokoja, which is frankly not a demonstration of proximal policing in any sense.
“Lokoja is very far from us and we have been agitating and glad that the current Inspector General of Police harkened to our voice and Mr. President approved the devolution of policing to the local level.
“People commit crime in Ekiti State and they can walk and come out of Ondo State via our bushes.
“You will not even know how they got there.
“Being in charge definitely speaks to our own commitment to community policing and we hope to benefit from your extensive knowledge and experience.”
The Governor promised to assist and collaborate with the zonal command to overcome its initial challenges.
Earlier, Folawiyo had said that the zone would be at the forefront of combating crime at the level of community policing and other important aspects of general security.
The AIG assured the governments of the two states that the activities of the command would be participatory through mentoring and ensuring training of all principal actors and stakeholders.
He promised to collaborate with government in his drive to achieve success during his tenure in the zone.
According to the AIG: “Our focus is going to be community policing, partnership and transformation.
“We have new plans and strategies to make governance better from the angle of security.
“We would be frontliners in general security and community policing in zone17.”