Fashola Urges Renewed Support To Help Defeat Criminals
…Warns property owners against habouring hoodlums at 5th Town Hall Meeting on Security
Nov 22, 2011 - Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Tuesday hosted the fifth annual Town Hall Meeting on Security, stating that the gathering is not only to render an account but invite everyone to commit to a renewed investment to out-spend, out-think, out-manouvre and defeat those who threaten the society by their pursuit of illicit undertakings.
Governor Fashola who spoke at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island before a gathering of Captains of industry, senior law enforcement agents, residents and stakeholders said the meeting challenges the resolve made by the State Government in 2007 about securing the State and calls upon everyone to acknowledge that crime is a threat to their businesses and their lives.
Apart from enumerating the State's unceasing investment to sustain security since 2007, Governor Fashola stated that in 2011 alone, the State has provided 10 Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC), 60 high power motor bikes and 50 patrol vehicles and six boats as well as securing approval for five new Area Commands which it intends to build in 2012.
He however invited all Stakeholders to lend a helping hand. "We hope that from this meeting, we will raise enough money to provide five hundred more vehicles, 200 more patrol bikes and at least 20 more Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC)" he said.
While stating categorically that security of lives and the protection of property is the primary responsibility of the administration as the people's representatives in government, the Governor noted that the partnership with the private sector and other stakeholders would yield more results.
"Our recourse to you today is an acknowledgement of impact and success that your participation brought about at the time of an imminent security crisis. Out biggest challenge today is to elicit a similar or better response from you today at a time when things have improved, so that we can act pro-actively as we did four years ago.
"Your voluntary contributions from today by way of cash, vehicles and provision of fuel or any service that will improve our capacity will be the strongest possible statement we all can make about our determination to secure and protect the place we all call home", the Governor said.
Governor Fashola recalled that when he assumed duties in 2007, the biggest single challenge to the realization of the dreams of the administration was posed by insecurity, saying that not only were lives being lost to crime on an almost daily basis in traffic, bank robberies and home invasions, the law enforcement personnel were neither equipped to fight crime nor were they motivated to do so.
"The capacity we installed in 2007 has therefore become stretched. The vehicles have aged and need to be replaced. The demands are new, the methods of the criminals are changing and they are investing in their businesses in order to put our own lives and businesses at risk".
"I stand before you very proudly to assert that we have overcome many of these challenges. The road to progress has not been easy. It has demanded thousands of hours of hardwork which we have gladly given. We have been greatly inspired by your support and sense of community in joining us to fight crime and preserve law and order", the Governor said.
"The evidence of such support could be seen in the fact that "Our night life and economy is getting robust by the day and providing jobs for young people and investors in entertainment and hospitality. Many more businesses are opening and new hotels, restaurants, night clubs and cafes are springing up with the promise of more to come", Governor Fashola said.
He said government has complemented this by lighting up many streets of Lagos with power provided by diesel fired generators and the policemen are now better equipped to respond because they now have patrol vehicles and Armoured Personnel Carriers to fight crime.
"Keeping them on the road to protect all of us requires hundreds of thousands of liters of petrol, diesel and other logistics. We are paying them an improved monthly allowance and those at the vanguard of responding to violent crimes now have a group life and accident insurance coverage", the Governor explained.
He warned all property owners who harbor criminals that if apprehended, the Certificate of Occupancy of such properties would be revoked while the property will be acquired for public use.
He expressed appreciation to many people including State's legislators, members of the State Executive Council, bank executives, members of the State Security Trust Fund, leaders of business and private citizens as well as school children who decided to support the fund from their pocket money.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman of the Security Trust Fund, Chief Remi Makanjuola who was represented by his Vice, Mr Olusegun Kazeem (DIG) RTD said the greatest challenge facing the trust fund is about sustaining what it has built over the years.
"The continuing and future effectiveness of our security model lies in our hands. Our collective resolve backed up with the continued generous contributions to the Lagos State Security Trust is for now, our only option", he said.
In a report of the Board of Trustees, the Executive Secretary of the Lagos State Security Trust Fund, Mr Fola Arthur –Worrey said the most pressing challenge of the Fund is sustainability and growth over the long term.
"We must be prepared not just for the moment but into the future. We need to sustain and then grow our model so that we are assured of adequate capacity for any eventuality".
He said since the last meeting, seven states have approached the fund for consultancy advice on setting up their own security trust funds and three states have actually established such funds.
Giving an update on the security situation in the State as well as current challenges, the State Police Commissioner, Mr Yakubu Alkali said from available records, the State Police Command could hardly boast of ten serviceable vehicles prior to the advent of the security trust fund.
Mr Alkali stated that the story is however different today as the command is now the proud recipient of sundry logistics and financial assistance which has immensely boosted the capacity of the men to perform their duties.
The Police Commissioner listed items which the command has so far received to include two helicopters, 30 Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC), 300 patrol vehicles including mobile workshop vehicles, five W-19 Fibre Boats fitted with double 75HP Outboard Engines, 100 Ballistic Helmets, 1000 AK-47 rifles, two million 7.62MM Calibre ammunition, 60 patrol motorcycles and 300 Walkie-Talkies.
"Within the last few months, crime have not only been prevented, but have been cracked or nipped in the bud when committed. This is due to the quick response to distress calls and the scrupulous and diligent use of information volunteered by members of the public and tools at the disposal of the Police to do the job".
The Police Commissioner who buttressed his presentation with several reported cases of armed robbery and kidnap cases which the command foiled especially the one involving the recovery of a cache of arms and ammunition from some criminals and release of four kidnap victims in Igando, an outskirt of Lagos.
Special commendation Bravery Awards were presented to 21 police officers who have been very exemplary in confronting criminals and included the Commander of Police Mobile Force 2, Keffi, Superintendent Patrick Ejedawe which led the team that secured the release of four kidnapped men, Superintendent Aba Kyari, Deputy Superintendent Ugar Udoh, Assistant Superintendent of Police ASP, Apochi Joseph, ASP Charles Onwuka, Inspector Bernard Benimare, Inspector Edward Iguma among others proudly received the awards and warm handshakes from the Governor and members of the Board of the Lagos State Security Trust Fund.
The event which witnessed testimonies from some of the Stakeholders about the efficiency and responsiveness of the security outfits in the State was attended by members of the State Executive Council, members of the State Security Trust Fund, First Military Governor of Lagos, Brigadier Mobolaji Johnson, former Inspector General of Police, Mr Musiliu Smith, former Managing Director of First Bank Plc, Mr Moyo Ajekigbe, the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu I, Chairman of Coscharis group, Chief Cosmas Maduka and several other dignitaries.