By Christopher Oji
The Lagos State Police Command has threatened to clamp down on hotels, brothels, bars and hospitality homes that allow drug peddlers to use their premises for illicit businesses.
Also on police watch are owners of business premises that criminals use to plan their nefarious activities as well as serve drinks and drugs to underage children.
Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, at a stakeholders meeting with hoteliers brothel owners and hospitality industry managers at the weekend, said the rate at which club goers use drugs unchallenged was becoming too embarrassing and alarming, making it look as if drug peddling and usage are normal and legal.
The CP said the most annoying aspect was that underage children are employed in brothels as prostitutes and/or allowed to freely use all manners of illicit drugs.
He said: “Intelligence report at my disposal has shown clearly that drug peddlers use your premises to sell drugs and the end users use your toilets, bathrooms and kitchens to take the stuffs and this is not acceptable to me. I also discovered that the brothel owners are employing underage girls as prostitutes. It is not as if the police do not know that running brothels is a crime on its own but when we clamp down on you, the rate of rape will increase. But we will clamp on those of you who allow underage girls in your premises. We are going to deal with hoteliers that allow drugs in their premises.
“Governor Akinwunmi Ambode wants a 24- hour economy. We will achieve it with stakeholders in nightlife businesses such as hotels and nightclubs. The fact that we want Lagos to run 24 hours does not mean that we have to endanger the lives of our children. We need to protect them. I have set up a 10-man committee to look into the issue and get back to me within six weeks. I am going to set up a special task force that will assist the serious business owners who will comply with the recommendations of the 10-man committee. We are going to jointly regain our society from drug peddlers. Crime goes with drugs; it is after taking drugs that hoodlums have the courage to execute their nefarious activities.
“What we want is that hospitality homes, bars, beaches and nightclubs should have modern scanners, metal detector and closed circuit television (CCTV) that will monitor the activities of customers. Through the hand scanners, you will be able to discover hoodlums who are armed and you will immediately contact the special squad that I will constitute. I am aware that criminals hibernate in some hotels to plan their nefarious activities. This will not be condoned. He who have ears, let him hear. The government is behind me in this war of reclaiming our state from drug peddlers and I will do everything within my disposal to make Lagos run a 24-hour economy. We shall clamp down on stakeholders who are not ready for business.
“I am happy that a man from Ikorodu said that night life has finally resumed in the area. Before my arrival as the Deputy Commissioner of Police in-charge of operations, the Badoo cult group was killing people and wiping out families. So, there was fear and apprehension that people were no longer comfortable. Hospitality businesses closed shops and nightlife died a natural death but I moved against the cult group. Today, nightlife has returned to Ikorodu and I am happy about it. The achievement was made possible with the partnership between the locals and the police. This is the kind of synergy that we are expecting with you people to enable us have a state free of crime, a state that people will be proud to do 24-hours business and be happy. We want a state where citizens will wake up anytime and visit wherever they want to go.”