Nigerian Police Commissioner Seeking Ties with Religious Leaders to Address Insecurity

Mass burial in Runji village, Zangon Kataf LGA on 16 April. Credit: Nasarawa Mirror

The new Police Commissioner of Nigeria’s Kaduna State is seeking to strengthen the relationship between the Police and religious leaders as a “strategy” to address insecurity in the State.

In a security meeting with Christian leaders of the 23 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Kaduna State under the auspices of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Commissioner Musa Yusuf Garba explained the purpose of initiating the encounter with religious leaders.

“The essence of my visit is to strengthen the relationship between the police and religious leaders because I discovered that if you want to catch them young as they normally say, you have to use strategy,” Commissioner Garba is quoted as saying in a Tuesday, September 26 report following the meeting that was held at the Albarka Baptist Church in Barnawa area of Kaduna city.

He added, “I visited mosques and I visited some churches. One thing with me is that whenever I am in the midst of religious people… I feel comfortable because this is where you find people with sincerity and honesty because if you cannot get facts from the clergies, where again can you get it.

“I decided to go to churches and mosques, because by the time I am talking with a pastor with 3,000 followers and congregation, it will affect the entire community there,” the Kaduna Police Commissioner told the leaders of the Nigerian Christian entity that includes representatives of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN).


He continued, “How can I get access to the whole community like that except through the clerics because the followers respect them more than anybody else?

The Nigerian Police Commissioner went on to urged the religious leaders to “give police information about bad boys buying drugs in your communities. They are there, don’t hide them. Let’s forget our differences and fight for crime-free and peaceful Kaduna State.

In a Wednesday, September 13 report, Christian leaders in Kaduna State “painted a grim picture of severe banditry attacks,” that have resulted in the killing of Pastors and the closure of churches in recent years. 

In their complaint, the Chairman of CAN in Kaduna State, Pastor John Joseph Hayab, says, “In four years, the church has come under severe attacks by bandits and other criminal elements in Kaduna State where we lost 23 pastors and over 200 churches were shut down.”

In April, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), a UK-based human rights foundation, called for action following the beheading of a five-year-old boy when Islamists attacked a village in Southern Kaduna State, leaving dozens of people dead.

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In the April 15 attack, the killers descended on Runji village in Zangon Kataf Local Government Area (LGA) of Southern Kaduna State, leaving 33 people dead, among them 14 children.

CSW condemned the attack in an April 18 report, and called on the international community to put pressure on the Nigerian government to end the killing of innocent civilians in the West African country.

In the September 26 report, Police Commissioner Garba is said to have cautioned parents against protecting their children who are engaging in criminal activities in Kaduna State, saying that failure to report such cases amounts to being an accomplice and guilty of “abetting crime”. 

“If you have any ward or son, tell him that there is a new Commissioner of Police in Kaduna, who is against what you are doing, so you better stop it now. If I get you, I will prosecute you,” he said, and emphasized, “If arrested I will prosecute him along with his parents and send them to jail for aiding and abetting crime.”

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.