WHILE playing host to the Inspector General of Police Idris Ibrahim, Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode boasted that the huge investment his administration had made in providing security in state was already yielding dividends. According to Governor Ambode, the crime rate in Lagos as at August last year had gone down by 70 per cent just as he pledged his administration’s more commitment to rid the state of crime and criminals.
In his response, the visiting Police IG had commended the various security initiatives of the Lagos State Government, particularly the welfare package granted officers posted to the state police command and the establishment of the Neighbourhood Safety Corps under whose auspices it has trained 5,700 young men and women to enhance security at the grassroots level by assisting the police in intelligence gathering and thus facilitate the arrest of criminals. The Police boss also did not fail to commend the state government’s Security Trust Fund, adding that as Commissioner of Police in Kano: “We had to travel to Lagos to understudy the Security Trust Fund. It has served as a model for other states of the Federation.”
And in recent events in Lagos, Governor Ambode had reiterated his administration’s resolve to deal with crime in the state as , according to him, development cannot take place in an atmosphere devoid of safety and security. And he had used such opportunities to cite the billions of naira invested in equipping the police so as to boost the security of the state. At the establishment and launching of the re-branded Lagos Neighbourhood Safety Corps to complement the effort of conventional police, Ambode said 77 saloon cars and other vehicles equipped with communication gadgets, 377 motorcycles, 377 helmets, 4,000 bicycles, metal detectors to stop illegal weapons from being smuggled into public places, among other equipment, were handed over to the Corps to enable the operatives carry out their jobs effectively. To further strengthen security in the state, he also disclosed that a new executive bill to regulate employment of domestic workers and security guards would soon be forwarded to the state House of Assembly.
He explained that the bill will, among others, prescribe regulations for this set of workers to monitor their activities. Vanguard INSIGHT also gathered that as part of the response to recent security challenges, the state government is to install over 13,000 additional Close Circuit Television, CCTV, cameras across the major flash points where analysts can adequately monitor from the Command and Control Centre activities across the state to activate emergency response where and when necessary. Reacting to the recent rising cases of kidnapping and the menace of ritual cult group known as Badoo, Ambode expressed deep concern, assuring residents of his administration’s commitment to arrest the situation.
According to the governor: “I am deeply concerned about the issue of kidnapping in the state and also the recent development that has been happening in Ikorodu… the mob actions and also the issue of Badoo cult group. But the truth is that the government is more than ever committed to ensure the safety of lives and properties and we would do everything within our capacity to ensure that the city and the state stabilises”. On the kidnapped school children whose release from their captors is eagerly being awaited, he said: “We know that no amount of expenditure is enough to keep the city safe.
I just want to assure Lagosians that we are doing everything possible. We do not run the government on pages of newspapers; and that’s why you see that we do not make comments on the newspapers, but we are trying as much as possible to make sure that we get these children back safely which is more important for us and also make sure that we tighten the security in our water ways to make sure that we support the security agencies in ensuring that the right things are done. “This is also a good opportunity for me to say this since the majority of our traditional rulers are here: we just want to pass a message to say that we need to come together and ensure that we speak to all our Baales in the communities that we are having issues and also in Ikorodu to say that we must speak to ourselves.
“We have intelligence here that some of these things are coming from within us and our Kabiyesis and Obas (traditional rulers) need to do something as quickly as possible to arrest this decadence that we have here. As far as the Badoo case is concerned, I don’t believe that it has anything to do with a disappearing ghost. I don’t also believe that the rituals can be taking place without some people not being behind it. “So, I challenge all our Kabiyesis and all our traditional rulers and Baales; we must arrest this situation as quickly as possible and show that traditional value that we have always been known for, and then we would continue to support you.”