Adequate security is at the centre of actualising the Lagos State’s aspiration to transform its economy and make it 21st Century compliant, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said at the weekend.
Sanwo-Olu said his administration has prioritised the provision of logistics and material support for improved security operations to sustain 24-hour commercial activities across the State. He also promised to collaborate with the Nigeria Police to increase security surveillance at the grassroots through community policing arrangement of the Federal Government.
Sanwo-Olu spoke while hosting the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Muhammed Adamu, who was paid him a courtesy visit at the weekend.
The IGP’s visit, which was his final leg of the operational tour of the Southwest region, coincided with the summit of Conference of House of Assembly Speakers in the six states of the region held in Lagos, which bordered on regional security. The meeting also came two days after Gov. Sanwo-Olu donated 120 patrol vehicles and 34 motorcycles to the state’s Police Command to strengthen security.
Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, who led the delegation of speakers from the southwest region told Governor Sanwo-Olu that the conference was disturbed by the growing spate of insecurity in the region hence the need for them to meet and deliberate on the issue.
Welcoming the IGP to his office, Governor Sanwo-Olu charged the police officers to justify the confidence reposed in them to fight crime and keep the country safe, adding all hands must be on deck in providing watertight security across the nation.
He said: “We need to sustain Lagos 24-hour economy to boost Nigeria’s non-oil revenue, 70 per cent of which is derived from Lagos. There is no way we can’t sustain the economy if people feel insecure to move freely. It will only happen if we have sound security formation across Lagos and adjourning states in the Southwest region.
“If Lagos is secure adequately, every nook and cranny of the country would feel the effect in terms of improvement in economic indices and quality of life of our people. Lagos Government has been supporting all security agencies and we will continue to do so to actualise our aspiration of transforming the State’s economy to comply with modern realities.”
Sanwo-olu, who described security as “everybody’s business”, praised the IGP for “urgently” responding to the security concerns in the Southwest. He, however, demanded, more actions from security operatives to curtail pockets of kidnapping, banditry and armed robbery observed in the region.
The Governor pointed out that Lagos started community policing with the establishment of Neighbourhood Watch corps, which, he said, President Buhari commended. He told Adamu that the police could study and adopt the model to achieve the objectives of community policing the Force was bringing to strengthen surveillance in communities across the country.
Responding, Adamu said his visit to the Governor was informed by the need to appreciate Lagos Government’s logistics support to the state Police Command, and to re-assure the Governor of his readiness to strengthen security operation in Lagos.
The IGP said the community policing plan had received massive support from local vigilante groups, including the Oodu’a Peoples Congress (OPC), which had indicated their readiness to partner with the police.
He said: “We have agreed that we will send our special forces to the Southwest to work with our officers’ police commands across the states. The activities of these special forces will be targeted at areas where bandits and kidnappers are found.
“I am aware our commands have been receiving significant logistics support from your government. Because of this, I felt the need to personally come here and appreciate you for the gesture, and also to motivate our officers to double their efforts in the fight against crime in Lagos.”