Jos, Nigeria: Police in Central Nigeria have started a rare partnership to build peace in Plateau State.
A US-funded project, Building Civic Participation and Good Governance in Plateau State (BCP-GGP) is providing opportunities for the two bodies to link citizens with government towards eliminating conflicts.
“The program seeks to promote working relationships between government and citizens with a common concern,” Mrs. Esther Ibanga, the Executive Director of one of the local implementing partners, Women Without Walls Initiative (WoWWI) said, Tuesday.
It is a “trust building” project, Ibanga said at a stakeholders meeting in Jos the capital of Plateau State.
Mrs. Ibanga speaking at the meeting
Building trust according to her requires keeping one’s words, setting personal values, and learning effective communication skills.
She advised officials to “Always be honest – don’t build trust with small lies in an attempt to protect others or avoid trouble.
“Don’t always promote self – the recognition and appreciation of citizens who have contributed to the society is very important. Admit your mistakes – it is human to make mistakes and hiding ones error builds distrust, however showing ones vulnerability builds trust.”
Another implementing partner and coordinator of the meeting, Mr. Wilson Iyamu said mutual trust between citizens and the Police is crucial for success.
Government officials, Iyamu, the representative of Justice Security Dialogue said should also keep their promises to earn trust.
Mr. Garba Galadima (ASP), representing the Nigerian Police Force sought citizens’ support toward effective policing.
The Police which is a partner in the project, Galadima said cannot thrive without proper information from citizens.
“The blame game by citizens should stop. Communities should not only go to leaders to beg for money but actively contribute to the policies and governance process,” he said.
Also, the Plateau State Commissioner for Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Hon. Irimiya Wer said citizens must unite beyond sociocultural beliefs to positively impact governance.
Mr. Wer lauded the program as relevant for good governance in Plateau State.
The General Officer Commanding 3rd Division Jos, Maj. Gen. Nuhu Angbazu represented by Col N. I. Garba expressed joy at the initiative which he said is in line with the drive of the Army to foster civil-military relations in the State.
The meeting was a followup to last year’s advocacy visits by the BCP-GGP team to government, security and community stakeholders.
The visits were part of resolutions at a similar meeting held in December 2019 aimed to “build civic participation and good governance in Plateau State.
The engagement is expected to continue with more dialogues, trainings and workshops.