By Daniel Anokwuru
Recently, security agents, community leaders and other stakeholders in Ojo Local Government area of Lagos State converged on New Planet Resorts, Ajangbadi, to deliberate on the security challenges confronting residents of the area.
The event, convened by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in Ajangbadi, Mr. Musa Alimi, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), had representatives from the armed forces, National Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), police, and other security agencies, also had community leaders and other stakeholders in attendance.
Those in attendance include Mr. S. C. Ahmed Aliyu, who represented the Divisional Officer of the NSCDC, Ojo Division, Lieutenant S. Jeremiah, Operational Officer, Ojo Military Cantonment, who represented Lt. Col. E. Chukwu, Commander, Sector 6, Ojo Military Cantonment, Alhaji Isa Sahisu, Sariki Hausawa of Ajangbadi, B. C. Okoro, a lawyer, High Chief Tajudeen Amusa, Baale of Ilogbo Elegba, High Chief Bako Haruna, Bale of Shibiri, and other stakeholders.
In his opening speech, the DPO, Musa Alimi said the meeting was necessary as it would provide an opportunity for the stakeholders to speak out their minds on issues of security confronting them. He added that it would also give the security agents first hand information that would enable them map out strategies to confront such problems. He advocated the need for the youth to shun crime and embrace good behaviour.
He said: “Upon my resumption as the DPO in Ajangabdi, I had a covenant with my officers to deal with anybody found breaching the laws of the land, and that I would never shield anyone found culpable. This interactive forum will afford us the opportunity to report any issue or security threat that is bothering us. If there are some actions of any security agents that you are not pleased with, you can voice it out here to enable us serve you better.”
He warned community leaders to be of good behaviour and report anybody in their communities exhibiting any criminal acts. He accused some Baales and chiefs were handling criminal matters secretly and shielding notorious criminals in their communities
The guest speaker, Mr. B. C. Okoro, a lawyer, told the community leaders to always work together with the police and stop the attitude of playing the role of good fathers to criminal elements in their communities.
“It is very clear that the community leaders and residents of any community know the activities of everyone living in their domain more than the police. If we report anyone with questionable character to the police, it will really help the police in fighting crime. As a landlord, you have a tenant in your house that sleeps from morning till evening, and in the night he will go out. And you are sure he is not doing any night job in any company. You have to report such a person to the police.”
A community leader in Itire Ilogbo, Mr. Wisdom A. Adebowale complained that the police in the area were always in a hurry to grant bail to suspected criminals handed over to them. He lamented that on several occasions, suspects handed over to the police were released without prosecution. In his response, the DPO regretted the rate of jungle justice in the country.
“Youths now kill for fun instead of allowing the police to investigate suspects to ascertain if the person in question is actually guilty. We have witnessed situations where people will bring someone to the station, and when you tell them to officially write a statement, they will all flee and abandon the person. You will see that nobody is ready to make a statement or come up with vital evidence to enable the police prosecute the person. The police cannot rely on false alarm to charge innocent people to court without evidence to prosecute them,” he explained.
The event ended with the recognition of distinguished personalities who has contributed immensely towards the fight against crime. The Award of Excellence in Security and Safety, organised by The Lagos Watch, honoured dignitaries like Chief Sunday Nwobodo, Chairman New Planet Resorts Limited, the DPO in Ajangbadi, Mr. Musa Alimi, Mr. Samuel Sunday Ezeh, Managing Director, Samsunny Pharms Limited, Sunday Onyekezini, Operational Officer, Ajangbadi Police station and many others.
Organisers of the award applauded the commitment of Chief Sunday Nwobodo to crime-fighting, noting that he had clinched seven different awards this year in recognition of his outstanding performance from different sectors.