ODAHIEKWU OGUNDE, Yenagoa
New Assistant Inspector General of Police Zone 16, Don Awunah has assured the people of the zone comprising Rivers and Bayelsa states of new approach in crime-fighting.
Awunah, who assumed duty on Monday at the zonal headquarters in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, said the people were going to witness a new dimension in policing that would be anchored on community policing, community engagement and partnership driven by the people.
Awunah takes over from AIG Austin Agbonlahor after his retirement from service.
He said: “The people of Bayelsa and Rivers states are going to witness a new dimension in the police force anchored on community policing, community engagement, partnership and problem solving driven by the people – who own the police.
“The zone is expected to play a very dominant role in supervision and guidance. It is not necessarily a place of first responders, we are here to support the commands and not to take over their jobs, but the job of policing is to support all structures and to serve the people so the centre of our policing is to the people. That’s the message and the policing objective of the Inspector General of Police which I am here to drive.
“The issue of crime and criminality is something we have to work together as a people. When I mean as a people, not just the police. The police, the people, the society must come together. There is no way in the world, a particular group of people can solve crime alone because the police are there and the people are there, so the people and police must form a very solid active partnership to solve criminality.
“The criminals are not ghost, the kidnappers are not spirits from the high sea. They are all people, so we need to come together and solve issues of crime and criminality having in mind that the people must be engaged and the people must own the police. This is the only police you have.”
Awunah declared that Bayelsa had always remained low in the national crime index and added that he intended to maintain that and improve upon it.
Maintaining that Bayelsa had been on top of national cohesion on peace and security, he assured the people that he was there to support the people and the government of Bayelsa to achieve that noble objective.
Awunah was commissioned into the Nigeria Police Force as an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) as one of the pioneer cadets of the Nigeria Police Academy.
He is a graduate of the University of Lagos and he holds a Master’s degree in Peace and Security Studies and also a Master’s degree in Strategic Studies and International Relations.