Fashola Flags Off One-Day Seminar For Enforcement Agencies, Hands Over 200 Patrol Vehicles To LASTMA, KAI
• Says law and order has earned Lagos State local and international reputation in the last few years
• Urges illegal arms holders to surrender such arms to the nearest Police Station
• "We will give a window of opportunity where everyone who has illegal arms will voluntarily go and drop his weapon", he says
May 24, 2015 - Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, Sunday flagged off a One-Day seminar for the State's Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA) and Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) saying the duty of law enforcement agencies was to convince the public of the need to embrace law and order.
Addressing a capacity gathering of members of the two agencies at the Lagos House, Governor Fashola, who noted that the maintenance of law and order had earned the State both local and international reputation in the last few years, said he would be most delighted to see the agencies strengthening what his administration has built in the last eight years.
The Governor told the officers, "As I will be leaving the office in a few days time, I believe that it is time to strengthen what we have build in the last few years", adding, "There is no mystery to law enforcement. All we need to do is to convince the public on the need to adhere to the laws.
"In the next few days, we want to see an understanding by our people that they will be better off if they live within the law than living outside the law", the Governor said adding that if this was understood by the generality of the people, it would bring voluntary compliance.
Saying he would like to see people voluntarily registering their vehicle for number plate and displaying their vehicle number in the front and at the back of their vehicles, motorcycles and tricycles, the Governor expressed dismay that although the issue was important, people often took them for granted.
"But it becomes important if we understand that we are protecting ourselves by putting on our vehicle registration number. I have seen in some states where the chief executive covers his vehicle registration. But I proudly carry mine. Nobody is above the law in any society even if you are a diplomat in a country where you cannot be arrested", he said.
Governor Fashola, who urged all vehicle owners to carry their plate numbers on their vehicles as a matter of law and order, added, "One is better protected by doing so. If an accident occurs with such vehicles, how will it be possible for anyone to know who the owner of the vehicle was; call his relatives? If it is stolen, how will the security officials locate the vehicle?"
The Governor expressed the hope that in the next few weeks, members of the agencies would be able to convince members of the public that part of their safety lay with registering their vehicles and displaying their number plates.
Also emphasizing on the activities of the youths as leaders of tomorrow, Governor Fashola, who urged them to forego drugs and other anti-social behaviours, declared, "In the next few weeks, we expect that our youths will see the necessity to move away from drugs and cultism and drop their weapons".
The Governor appealed to the youths saying, "This country needs your energy. The drugs will destroy your minds. You may die sudden death if you continue to live violent life. This country needs you alive. I think that this is a season of great hope and change. I use this opportunity to appeal to you to break up those gangs and form yourselves into entrepreneurship cooperatives to societies. You can only approach the government through this".
Urging them to also drop their weapons of violence, the Governor enjoined them to surrender such weapons and guns voluntarily to the nearest police station adding, "I am not saying this lightly. This is a matter that we have deliberated on extensively. I believe that the Commissioner of Police remains committed to this and that after I make this announcement, he will work with all the security officials and evolve a process that will aid the smooth handover".
"We will give a window of opportunity where everyone who has illegal arms will voluntarily go and drop his weapon. And we will assure you that there will be no prosecution if anyone does so within that period. We need to clean our city and state of small arms. After that period, the law will take its stand", he said.
The Governor also spoke extensively on habits and practices which are ultimately harmful to the community and society which should be discarded liKe trading on sidewalks, urinating or defecating in public spaces, doing business under the bridge and other illegal places as well as burying dead bodies at home.
Governor Fashola, who thanked the Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, for being present at the event on the day his wife hosted a birthday party, added aside the flag off of the seminar, which according to him would open formally on Tuesday the occasion was to handover 200 vehicles specially fitted, specially equipped and specially branded for LASTMA and KAI.
He said the significance of the handover lay in the purpose for which the vehicles were being provided, which, according to him, was to enforce law and order adding, "So in a very simple way you need to understand what we are doing and what are the results we expect to see".
The Governor recalled that over the last few months, his administration had tried to retrain and reorientate LASTMA and KAI adding, "We have created a Law enforcement cadre which is now part of the State's Public Service".
Pointing out that the two agencies have been converted from an adhoc team that was on contract, to a career team of professional cadre in the Public Service with pension, Governor Fashola told them, "You must bear in mind that you are pioneers pathfinders and whatever LASTMA becomes in future will depend on what you do today. It is incumbent on you to write the history of LASTMA for many generations to come".
Emphasizing on the judicious use and maintenance of the vehicles, the Governor declared, "When you get the vehicles, I want you to understand that those vehicles are public property and bought with tax payers' money. It is meant for public use and not for personal use. It mustn't be taken to your personal homes", adding, "I believe that your leaders will work out how these vehicles are used and how they are maintained".
Earlier, in his welcome address, Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, said the members of LASTMA and KAI were grateful that the Governor had invested so much on the agencies adding that it was only incumbent on them to reciprocate the government gesture by carrying out their duties to the State.
Also present were members of the State Executive Council including Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye, and his Environment and Establishment Training and Pension counterparts, Mr. Tunji Bello and Mrs. Florence Oguntuase as well as the Information and Strategy Commissioner, Mr. Aderemi Ibirogba, top officials of both LASTMA and KAI and top government functionaries.