By Lukman Olabiyi and Bianca Iboma-Emefu
Ahead of 2023 general elections, Lagos State Police Command has revealed that volatile areas for political activities and promoters of thuggery have been identified and being closely monitored.
The state Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alabi revealed this while, presenting report of activities of the command from October 2021 to September 2022 at the 16 Annual Town Hall Meeting on security with the Governor, held yesterday in Victoria Island.
The event was organised by the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF).
Alabi said within the period mentioned, out of the 170 robbery incidents carried out by the hoodlums, 146 were foiled while 21 were successful with 146 suspects arrested in connection with the crimes.
Adding that 128 among the armed robbery suspects arrested have been charged to court while investigation into the cases involving others is ongoing.
Speaking on the forthcoming general elections and his command preparation for hitch free poll, he said:”the electioneering process towards the 2023 general election has been kicked off. Political campaigns, meetings, rallies, lectures, debates and other allied activities will be on the increase.
“Volatile areas for political activities and promoters of thuggery have been identified and being closely monitored. The command is using this medium to appeal to all political parties, candidates, supporters and other stakeholders to play the game according to the rule. They are enjoined to place emphasis on issues based campaign; eschew bitterness and use of hate speeches; disabuse their followers mind; request for police security to cover all the activities, and not resort to use of unauthorized or pseudo security agencies”.
The state governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu in his address, stated different measures being put in place by government to guarantee safety of lives and properties in the state, held that the current political season in the country would not stopped his administration from dealing ruthlessly with any person aiding , promoting and instigating violence, crime or any form of unrest.
The governor reiterated that there was no going back on the state government’s decision to ban commercial motorcyclists in some Local Government Areas across the state.
He ordered security personnel to be ruthless with anybody found occupying under the bridges across the state, stated that his order on no trading or occupying of under the bridges subsist .
Sanwo-Olu listed various innovation being introduced by his administration to curb crime and violations of human rights by security personnel and also sought cooperation of Lagosians.
“We must always remember that there is no society that is free from crime and criminality; even the most advanced nations still have to contend with all forms of crimes and threats. What we all must continue to do is to press forward and strive to ensure that risks are properly addressed, threats are contained, that deterrent measures are in place, and that every investment necessary for a safer society is made as at when due”, he said.
Speaking further, the governor reaffirmed his believed in review of current national policing and security architecture, said issue of review need urgent attention.
“We must also acknowledge that our national policing and security architecture needs urgent review. We cannot continue with a dysfunctional structure that has obvious room for improvement. Let me at this juncture say that commendation must go to the Federal Government for the Community Policing reforms being implemented. But more needs to be done, we need more far-reaching structural reforms in security management in Nigeria”, he held.
Sanwo-Olu also announced to donation additional 25 patrol vehicles to all the Divisional Police Stations across the state to enhanced their operation.
Giving report on the activities of the LSSTF in the last one year, the Executive Secretary of the organisation, Dr Abdurrazaq Balogun, said because of the COVID-19 and subsequent lockdown, the fund had to restratigize in order to improve safety and security in the State.
Balogun noted, “The year 2022 has been a very challenging year as we only received a paltry cash sum of N153,000,000.00 in donations as at 1st of November 2022 with no single donation in kind. This is the worst in the history of the Fund.”
In his welcome address, the Chairman Board of Trustees LSSTF, Kehinde Durosimi-Etti said, “We all agree that security is essential to all human activity and a requirement for socioeconomic development and growth. This is the reason why the Lagos State Goverment and the Fund continue to play a major role in providing resources for Federal Security agencies.
“It appears that 2022 not only continued in the path of its challenging preceding years of 2020 and 2021. It was even more trying with the volatile foreign exchange rates and global supply chain dustruptions.”