Chairman of Police Service Commission (PSC), Mike Okiro, has called for the establishment of a Civil Security Force (CSF) to complement operations of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) at the grassroots level.
The former Inspector-General of Police (IGP) said this on Thursday at a round table discussion on Civil Security in Nigeria organised by members of the Corporate Council on Africa in Washington, United States of America, adding that the CSF which should be an arm of the police, will immensely curtail terrorism and other criminal activities at the grassroots.
Citing the civilian JTF in Borno State, Okiro noted that “the positive impact of the youth civilian volunteer group in Borno State justify such reasoning.”
Okiro based his belief on the principles of the American Homeland Security, stressing that the operation of the CSF should be in line with Bahamas and Sri-Lanka models, which are under the command of the police.
He recalled that available records have it that due to terrorist attacks on villages during the outbreak of civil war in Sri-Lanka, the villagers organised themselves and formed a security group to protect themselves. “They were known as Home Guards; recognized and armed by government. Government created the Home Guard Service and issued them uniforms and weapons and they were under the Command of the local Sri – Lankan Police Units. In 2006, they were renamed the Civil Security Force, following the establishment of the Department of Civil Security, which was published as a Gazette,” he explained. He stressed that “it is important to note that these patriotic Sri-Lankans were volunteers (males and females), deployed in their home towns and villages, to protect the civilian population from terrorist attack.”
He told the gathering that “Nigeria is a veritable haven for investment,” assuring that “the government of Nigeria fully aware that there cannot be any meaningful socio-economic development without adequate security is determined to take deliberate and far reaching measures aimed at enhancing human security as a prelude to civil security.”
Okiro disclosed three policies he would like to implement to enhance the performance of the Nigeria Police Force to be people police, including crime prevention and control, along the United Nations guidelines which specifically emphasises on planned police/public partnership programmes, such as Police Community Relations Committee PCRC); police/private security guards partnership as well as mass public enlightenment on the need for every citizen to be security conscious and contribute to collective community security.