Christopher Oji, Lagos
The Nigeria Air Force has deployed an additional helicopter to assist the Nigeria Police Force in the war against crime in Lagos and Ogun States.
The extra helicopter is to give backing to the police air wing for surveillance air patrol.
The was revealed by Lagos State Commissioner of Police Hakeem Odumosu during a confidence-building patrol across the state with heads of security agencies.
The police chief said the show of force was to assure the residents of adequate security amid tension and apprehension of rumoured attacks by criminal gang ‘One Million Boys’.
Odumosu, in a press statement by the Lagos State police spokesman DSP Bala Elkana, stated:
“The Commissioner of Police Lagos State, Hakeem Odumosu, and heads of other security agencies in Lagos State, which include: Nigerian Army, Air force, Navy, Department of State Service ( DSS) etc, embarked on confidence-building patrol across the length and breadth of Lagos State. The large convoy of the security chiefs visited Ikeja, Mangoro, Iyana Ipaja, Agege, Dopemu, Ojodu Berger, Ogba, Abattoir, Oshodi, Mushin, Lawanson, Surulere, Orile, Bode Thomas, Sabo, Ejigbo, Aguda, Ijesha, Ago Okota, Festac, Ejigbo, Ikotun, Idimu, Agege, Ikotun, Idimu, Igando, Mushin, Kofo Abayomi, Ajah, Ilaje, Langbasa, Adeniji Adele, Ebute Ero, Apapa, Ajengule, Tolu, Amukoko, Ijora Badia, Layeni, among others.
“The CP and other speakers addressed the residents of the communities visited in English, Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa languages. The CP reassured the people of the unwavering commitment of law enforcement agencies in the state to protect lives and property. The CP advised residents to shun rumour-mongering and spreading fake news. He described the rumour making the rounds on social media that a gang of criminals known as ‘One Million Boys’ is planning to attack some communities in the state, as baseless. He told them that the command under his watch had in the last four months incapacitated the gang and other criminal elements in the state with the arrest of over 800 suspects and recovery of over 40 various categories of firearms.
“On the assumption of duty as Commissioner of Police, he launched a special operation known as Special Strike Force on Social Miscreants with a mandate to identify the various cult groups and gangs in the state, took the battle to their doorsteps, targeted their top hierarchy and dealt decisively with them.
“The war against cultism and gangsterism requires a collective approach. The CP called on community leaders, traditional rulers, religion leaders, landlords association, etc to support the ongoing onslaught on criminal elements in the state. He urged parents to monitor the activities of their children and wards and ensure that their children are not recruited into any criminal gang.
“On the spontaneous creation of vigilante groups by youths in various communities, the CP said though, it is one of the principles of community policing for citizens to participate in policing their local communities, it has to be monitored and controlled by the police for quality assurance. Such vigilance groups must conduct themselves in a way that their activities will not create more tension and panic, as witnessed in the manner some of them were in the last few days seen displaying dangerous weapons and burning tyres. Their conducts creating more panics and in some instances, residents assumed them to be armed robbers and gangsters.
“In order to address this gap, community leaders and landlords associations among others, are tasked with the responsibility of vetting the youths the communities trust enough to participate in policing their neighbourhoods. The Neighbourhoods Watch initiative must be strictly monitored and controlled.”
In his remarks, the Air Force Commander said the Chief of Air Staff had graciously deployed Air Force helicopters to join the police helicopters initially deployed for aerial surveillance by the police.”