The traditional ruler of Doma in Doma Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, Ahmadu Ogah Onawo, has applauded the involvement of traditional institutions in the community policing initiative, saying it will ensure safety of the people.
Ahmadu Onawo, who also doubles as the spiritual leader of the Alago nation, stated that the responsibility of ensuring peace, unity and safety of any community rested with the traditional leaders.
In an exclusive interview in his palace at Doma, recently, the monarch noted that contemporary administration needed to revert to involving traditional rulers for effective policing of the communities under their various chiefdoms, kingdoms and emirates.
While applauding the reintroduction of community policing, the Andoma stated that before the colonial system of administration, traditional institutions were the ones that were responsible for the safety and well-being of members of their communities.
He also called on the government to make available logistics to traditional rulers in order to enable them discharge their mandates as the custodians of the cultures of the people for a responsive and effective community policing.
He, however, pointed out that the Nasarawa State government, under Governor Abdullahi Sule, had tried its best in this regard.
The Andoma decried what he described as the dislodgement of key institutions which were originally under the palace control, saying that since the removal of the prisons and native court by contemporary administration, there has been a sharp collapse in the administration of justice.
“Now that the contemporary administration is thinking of institutionalising community policing which was a palace system of administration, the government has no choice but to involve traditional institutions who are directly responsible to their people.
“The traditional rulers in the past are the ones that knows who is a stranger, what is his mission and for how long will he stay in the community.
“Traditional rulers, like in my kingdom here in Doma, I must be the one that would sleep last just to make sure that everywhere is safe and wake up first to ensure that a sick person need to be taken to the hospital. I have always done that even before such persons say their morning prayers.
” So the role of the traditional institutions in community policing cannot be undermined as involving them is key to achieving the needed safety that is anticipated by the government.
“This also means that traditional ruler is responsible to his community needs, safety and he is the one that should be saddled with the duties of ensuring a safe environment, which also goes to say some of the components such as the control of police, the court system and even the prisons should be an affair in the palace administration,” he said.