By Patrick Osadebamwen
Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) Abuja Chapter, Comrade, Chuks Ehirim has said that the media has a serious role to play to facilitate a deepened civil interface between members of the public and the Nigerian police to engender more confidence between the people and the police for enhanced internal and national security
Ehirim said this at the award ceremony of the National Peace and Crime Free Nigeria Foundation (NPCFNF) where three FCT Police divisions were awarded for their respective gallant response to distress calls and management of cases within their purview along side some security officers.
The award of the police formations and some senior security individuals took place at the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Abuja council secretariat., weekend.
The NUJ Chairman said the relationship between members of the public and the police as it stands today is fraught with mutual suspicion calling for more show of confidence between members of the public and the Police for ease of managing security concerns.
Speaking through the Council Secretary, Comrade Emmanuel Ogbeche who represented him at the award ceremony, the NUJ chairman said the threat presently buffeting the peace of the nation through the various violent manifestations especially in parts of the North calls on all and sundry to interface and root out the common enemy.
According to him, the media is saddled with that responsibility to make the challenge of harmonious interaction between the Nigeria Police and the public realistic even as it should cement its own difference and conflicts of confidence especially when the police and journalists meet at assignments.
He emphasised that the reports and commentaries written by the media go a long way to decide the political and socio-economic atmosphere that govern the affairs of the nation at the time.
His words: “Fundamentally for embarking on a programme that will bring about synergy between the civilian populace and the police a relationship that has been one of mutual suspicion and I think the time has come for us to bridge the gap and work together especially as we are faced with serious threat to our corporate existence by fundamentalists, militants and by whatever name they go by.
“The media equally has a critical role to play in streamlining the relationships that exist between the the various segment of society as it stands with security forces and the population at large, because the reports we make and commentaries that we write go a long way in determining the sort of relationships that will exist in this country. I think the media has fared well in interrogating processes of whether the policemen are being paid well or doing their jobs properly or not.
“”I think much interaction will help in bridging this gap and in enhancing and sustaining that relationship.”
Chairman of the occasion, Mr. James Odaudu, assistant director media and public affairs, ministry of police affairs said the police works under various degree of pressure.
He said the men and women of the force deserved the understanding and commendation of the public especially (through ) awards such as the one bestowed on some divisions in the FCT because their performance if juxtaposed with the condition of their barracks tells you of courage ..
Three police divisions (Utako, Lifecamp and Gwagwa) were given awards for their respective gallant response to distress calls and management of cases within their purviews along side some security officers.
According to the founder of the National Peace and Crime Free Nigeria Foundation, Elder Chris DNK, Richards who is a winner of the M.D. Abubakar Crime reporter of the year, the occasion was to recognize the good of an institution that is greatly misunderstood.
Richards said the Nigeria Police is faced with myriads of challenges and yet it still strives to maintain relative peace within its defined civil populations .He stressed that the activities of some unscrupulous members have continue to “dim her noble efforts which called for this award.”
He said Nigerians should learn to appreciate the job of the police man and the institution he represents and help them to continue to call on the government to improve on their welfare, and operational needs for effective policing of the country.
By Patrick Osadebamwen