A retired Inspector General of Police, Dr. Solomon Arase, on Tuesday, through the Solomon Arase Foundation, donated items to improve security in the seven Ĺocal Government Areas of Edo South Senatorial District.
Arase, a staunch advocate of community policing, disclosed this at the maiden Annual Lecture series/scholarship awards of the Foundation with the theme “Citizens Inclusion in Security Management: Edo State Mode.l”
The items donated by the Foundation included a Sienna Salon car, 500 motorcycles, 1,400 customised shirts, 1,400 customised caps, 1,400 whistles, raincoats, and torches.
He also awarded nine scholarships to university undergraduates from Edo South. Eight of the scholarships were for Medical students while one was for a Law student. The scholarships worth N100, 000 each is to enable the students pay school fees.
The former IG stated that studies had shown that criminals thrive and state security remained perpetually threatened in a state where there was a deep gulf between policing agencies and the citizens.
He added, “Therefore, there must come a time in the life of a state when all the citizens must resolve to engage with their law enforcement agencies and build a strong synergy in order to defeat a common enemy. For us as people of Edo State, there is no other auspicious time for this than now.
“Our gathering here today, is therefore, a clear and loud statement that the Edo people and their law enforcement agencies are now determined to close up the gulf that weakens our common resolve, forge a united front, and advance hand in hand as true patriots to confront the criminal elements that have been feasting our hitherto disunited relationship.
“The core objective is to challenge the citizens on their roles within the security system and encourage the spirit of police-community partnership, as a strategy towards addressing crimes such as terrorism, kidnapping, armed robbery, farmers/herders’ conflict and other crimes”.
Arase stressed that the community policing model had proven to be potent and effective as exemplified by the Amalgamated Afemai Forum (Oduma Squad) and the Esan variant of Atanakpa and “appealed to our brothers and sisters to be gracious enough to support our community defence bodies in the protection of our homeland.”
Speaking at the event, the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, thanked Arase for his leadership and the support he had given him, though he was not one of the wealthy retired officers, he is rich in spirit.
He said the greatest lesson to learn from the scholarship awards was that everyone should go back and start doing something to assist the les privileged.