Fashola Hands Over Security Equipments, Trained Police Drivers To State Police Command
…Calls for a deepening of the partnership with the private sector
Oct 25, 2011 - In a bid to combat crime and criminal activities in Lagos State, the Government on Tuesday handed over security equipments worth millions of naira to help Police achieve more successes in policing the State.
The Government handed over 10 Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs), 50 patrol vans, a mobile workshop, 200 bullet proof vests,100 Walkie- Talkies and 300 newly trained Police drivers to the State Police Command with a charge that the items be used to get Lagosians more secured and live better in the State.
Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) who led the State Executive Council members to perform the gesture at the Lagos House Car Park used the occasion to call for a deepening of the commitment and partnership with the private sector as it was done in the past to secure the State.
"It will benefit all of us if citizen, every individual makes security his business and makes a voluntary contribution to the Security Trust Fund. We did it before and the results were pleasant and beneficial in many ways; we can do again"
The Governor noted that the State Government was committed to security because it is the most critical infrastructure that must be provided for business and economy to thrive.
Governor Fashola who lamented the regrettable and abject neglect of the Nigerian Police, its men and women by the different regimes of the nation's national government, explains that this made it necessary for many state Governments who understand the importance of security and who place the appropriate premium and priority on human lives and law and order to fund a responsibility that is not constitutionally theirs.
Said he: "It is indeed a tragedy that in spite of this abdication of responsibility, the PDP led Federal Government stands tongue in cheek to oppose the establishment of State Police".
"Nigerians must truly think deep and reflect on the choices that lie before them about how to resolve the security challenges that confronts the nation".
He said all the equipments were provided through direct funding by the State Government through supplementary budget appropriations by the State House of Assembly
He said the present administration in the State at its inception promised a special allowance to all Policemen of the Rapid Response Squad posted to the State and has not defaulted in paying the special allowance to each one of them.
The Governor stated that this is in addition to the provision of a global insurance cover for all the men and officers of the RRS in terms of accidents and disability and added that though the State has lost some officers on duty, insurance have been paid to them.
Governor Fashola explained that in the course of his trip to the United Kingdom last week, the Oxford University shared with him the result of a study that they conducted in Lagos which revealed that investment by the Government in security has been pivotal to the success of businesses and the economy of Lagos.
"This is at least a reinforcement of the innovative thinking of this Government to set up the State Security Trust Fund which has radically improved the capacity of the Police to secure our State".
"Year on year, since 2007, we have remained true to the commitment we made to improve security in the State by continuously investing in the welfare of security personnel and renewing and replacing their equipment and vehicles which depreciate by daily wear and tear", he explained.
He acknowledged the support of the Police High Command and particularly the Inspector General of Police, Mr Hafiz Ringim who not only donated gunboats for the use of the State on its waterways but also approved the creation of five new area commands in the State.
The Governor informed that designs for the new area commands have been completed and would be factored into the 2012 Budget, stressing that the area commands are already operating with what they have on ground.
He also commended the leadership of all the various Commanders of other agencies who worked with him on the State Security Committee and the dedication and gallantry of all their officers and men in acting to prevent crime and also in confronting and apprehending criminals.
Governor recalled that when the journey was started in 2007, many of the Policemen were converted to drivers and this prevented the Government from getting the best from the vehicles because the Policemen were not trained to drive.
He added that this prompted the State Government to apply to the Inspector General of Police to train the 300 men and return them to serve the State as drivers for the RRS patrol vehicles.
He cautioned the newly trained RRS drivers to be mindful that the vehicles are assets they hold in trust for the people as they are procured with tax payers money.
He said they should remember that the vehicles are for their safe keeping and constitute their offices because without the patrol vehicles they would have no jobs.
Governor Fashola also warned the Policemen against brutalizing the citizens and members of the public and urged them to show courtesy while the members of the public should also reciprocate it by showing respect to the Policemen.
The Assistant Inspector of General of Police Zone Two, Mr Fakai Sulaimon who represented the Inspector General of Police, Mr Hafiz Ringim at the handing over ceremony urged the Policemen not to breach the confidence reposed in them by the State Government by ensuring that they adhere strictly to the rules guiding the Police Force.
He described the efforts of the Lagos State Governor as a model of community policing as it is using the modern equipments to fight crime and also providing jobs through the employment of 300 spy personnel as drivers for the patrol vehicles.
Also in his address, the Executive Secretary of the State Security Trust Fund, Mr Fola Arthur –Worrey said the funding model adopted by the State Security Trust Fund remains a model as it is being understudied by many State Governments.
He explained that the Lagos State Government remains the major contributor to the Trust Fund just as the private sector has also been forthcoming with donations to the Fund.
While urging all those who have not donated to the fund to do so, Mr Arthur -Worrey said another window of opportunity to contribute beckons on November 22, when the fifth Town Hall meeting on security will be presided over by the Governor in Lagos.
The newly trained Police drivers later displayed with the patrol vehicles and equipments while the Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) also had a road show of force to demonstrate their readiness to combat crime.
Prominent among those who witnessed the event were the Deputy Governor, Princess Adejoke Orelope- Adefulire, members of the State Executive Council, State Commissioner of Police, Mr Yakub Alkali, traditional rulers, members of the Sate Security Trust Fund, senior Police Officers from the different formations and senior Government functionaries.