By Victor Okoye
The Community Policing Polo Tournament which begins on Thursday in Abuja will promote and strengthen the bond between the police and the community, the event’s organisers said on Wednesday.
Halliru Jika, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Police Affairs, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that this was because community policing was in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s agenda.
“President Buhari has this idea of bringing the issue of policing and security closer to the community more than ever before.
“The whole concept of community policing came up when the Police felt the need to incorporate and carry along the communities in policing the country.
“So, as representatives of the people, we are organising this tournament as a way of contributing our own quota towards bridging the gap between the community and the Nigerian Police,” he said.
Jika, who is the tournament’s Chairman of Organising Committee, said the theme of the tournament was apt and would also serve as an avenue to create awaremess about the new 2020 Police Act.
“This tournament has indeed come at the right time, especially because of all the negativity which have surrounded the Police Force in recent times and against the backdrop of the #EndSARS protests.
“But the media indeed has a very big role to play to enlighten the public on the 2020 Police Act which was just assented to by the President and passed by the National Assembly.
“We were able to review and amend over 150 clauses in the old Act and, as representatives of the people, we are there to make sure that the police implements to the latter those new amendments in the 2020 Act.
“The new Act provides for a Nigeria Police Force which is more friendly to the society, as opposed to the one which is more `violent and forceful’.
“It also provides for a Police which has the protection of the fundamental human rights of people in the society as its watchword.
“So, it is therefore pertinent that the youths acquaint themselves with the new Act so as to be aware of their rights and privileges and this is part of what this tournament is all about,” he said.
NAN reports that the tournament which holds at the Guards Polo Club will begin on Thursday and end on Sunday.
Jika disclosed that no fewer than 10 teams were expected to take part in the event, adding that the teams would be jostling for honours in two major Cups — the Community Policing Cup and the Vandrezzer Cup.
“The first game of the opening ceremony will be a match between the Police team and that of the Community for the Community Policing Cup.
“Also, a total of eight teams will be vying for honours in the Vandrezzer Cup.
“Top polo players expected to participate in the three-day event include Bello Buba, a 4-goaler and the country’s number one-ranked polo player, as well as the Badamasi brothers — Idris (+3) and Abdulmalik (+3),” he said.(NAN)