Security Of Lives, Property Our Biggest Achievement In Three Years

Security Of Lives, Property Our Biggest Achievement In Three Years

Buratai Lauds Lagos Gov’s Developmental Drive, Support For Security Agencies

…As Army Opens Base In Epe

Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday described the security of lives and property of residents as the biggest achievement of his administration in the last three years, saying it was gratifying to note that the State is now the safest in Africa.

Speaking at the commissioning of a Forward Operating Base (FOB) of the Nigerian Army in Epe, Governor Ambode said the combined investment of his administration in the security architecture of the State and efforts of security agencies had resulted in peaceful atmosphere for residents and visitors.

The Governor, who recalled the days of kidnapping, cultism and other security challenges in Ikorodu and Epe axis, said it was satisfying that the activities of criminal elements such as militants, among others had been confined to history in the State.

“As I mark my own three years in office tomorrow (Tuesday), I can say significantly that if there is anything that I have actually achieved in these three years is the security and safety of lives and property in Lagos State.

“There is no way that could have been possible and that is why I say it quietly and openly if not for the support and cooperation of all the security agencies and most significantly the efforts of the Nigerian Army which is actually hidden underground but visibly seen by everything that is going on here,” he said.

Recalling his early days in office, the Governor said his first major task was how to address kidnapping and other nefarious activities perpetrated by militants in Ishawo axis, adding that a Military Base was eventually set up as well as Military Operation code-named “Operation Awatse.”

“At the beginning, the issue of kidnapping and cultism was actually in this eastern axis between Epe and Ikorodu but with the efforts that we have seen and visible to all of us, it has become a thing of the past and we are very grateful to the Nigerian Army.

“I want to quickly recollect that my first task was the issue of kidnapping that was so notorious in area of Ishawo in Ikorodu and there and then, we had the support of the Nigerian Army to set up a small base and we had to also take over property of some of those militants to accommodate the Military Base,” he recalled.

He said crime rate had drastically reduced in the State, and that no efforts would be spared in sustaining the peace in the State.

“I must say the last three years have been very peaceful and everybody would agree that crime rate has reduced in Lagos. We need to sustain it because at the end of the day that is what really grows our GDP and that is what makes other people to want to come to Lagos and I can clearly and openly declare that Lagos right now is the safest city across Africa,” the Governor said.

While alluding to how former military barrack in Epe was closed, Governor Ambode described the commissioning of the FOB as historic and significant considering the fact that it was witnessed by traditional rulers and community leaders in the area, saying the development was a new dawn for community relationship with the Army in the axis.

Besides, the Governor lauded the General Officer Commanding in charge of 81 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Enobong Udoh for his steadfastness in promoting peace in the State, just as he reiterated commitment to continually support the Military and other security agencies in the State.

“I want to openly say I will support the second FOB that is coming up in Ikorodu and if there is any need for us to give further support for gunboat engines or infrastructure, you can count on us that we would support anything that will keep the lives and property of our people safe at all times.

“Our support for Operation Awatse is continual and we would support every other thing that is necessary and also beyond this, we would also support the welfare of all the security agencies that are operating in Lagos so that we can continue to have peace.

“What we are seeing is a new strategy to keep our outer spaces safer than ever before and we need the Military presence in Ikorodu, in Epe and all the outer spaces so that we can go away from the central protection and also make every other place in Lagos livable and also economically viable,” the Governor said.

Governor Ambode also commended the new initiative by the Nigerian Army to promote human security alongside national security, saying the State Government was solidly behind any initiative aimed at ensuring unity of the country.

Earlier in his remarks, Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Tukur Buratai commended Governor Ambode for the support to security agencies and the massive infrastructural development across the length and breadth of the State, saying the initiatives of the Governor were laudable.

“We really want to thank you (Governor Ambode) for the transformation and development going on in Lagos State.

“We acknowledge the transformation in Lagos and we say thank you,” Buratai said.

He said the FOB was set up to enhance security in the axis, and as well help to facilitate other military formations that would soon be moved to the area.

Security: We’ve Degraded Militant, Badoo Groups In Lagos

Security: We’ve Degraded Militant, Badoo Groups In Lagos

…Says Crime Rate Now On Consistent Decline

…As Ambode Advocates Collective Vigilance To Stay Ahead Of Violent Crimes

Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr Imohimi Edgal on Monday said the activities of the dreaded Badoo Cult Group hitherto prevalent in Ikorodu axis of the State as well as militancy especially along the riverine communities have been degraded in the State.

Speaking at the inaugural edition of the Lagos State Security Summit held at Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Edgal said it was also gratifying to report that in view of the massive assistance extended to security forces by the State Government through consistent donation and funding of security equipment, crime rate was now on consistent decline in the State.

Edgal, who gave an overview of crime statistics in the State, said from 2014 till date, a total of 1315 armed robbery attacks, 359 cult-related cases and 392 kidnapping cases were recorded, with several arrests made and prosecutions ongoing, while based on the community policing and security partnership he put in place upon assumption of office as CP, all militants groups hitherto operating in the State have been degraded and incapacitated from carrying out attacks.

He also said the policy had greatly helped in putting a stop to activities of dreaded cult groups such as Badoo, with all their shrines demolished, while from January till date, no attack had been recorded from the militants.

He said: “In comparison, when I became Commissioner of Police, Lagos State in September last year, I introduced my own policing plan powered by the strategy and philosophy of community policing and community safety partnership.

“Policing like we all know is more about strategy and technology but there are other factors that come to play such as logistics and all that but when there is a clear-cut strategy backed with the right technology, then the war against crime would be won.

“Based on the partnership with the community and other security outfits within our communities, we have been able to bring the activities of Badoo cult group to an end and also discovered suspected notorious shrines in Ikorodu and environs used for suspected ritual killings and other form of crimes. These shrines have all been demolished.”

The CP said to a large extent, the police command, under his watch, had leveraged on the existing goodwill with the State Government and the public to keep the State safe.

“Since my assumption of office, we have leveraged on the robust goodwill existing between the police and the government on one hand and members of the public on the other hand to record some modest achievements that have not only consolidated on the achievements of my predecessor and also ensured that the Command keep the flag flying,” the CP said.

He said a total of 15 town hall meetings were organised for him to meet with members of various communities and in all the meetings, the issue of trust consistently featured, while in response, a citizens complaint call centre was played up where people could lodge petition on issues bordering on professional misconduct of police officers, and that such had helped to rekindle confidence of the public in the police.

Going forward, Edgal called for increased manpower and a system to stop the practice whereby people spread fear through social media, as well as legislation to compel all businesses to install CCTV cameras within their premises.

Besides, the CP advocated the deepening of intelligence-led policing, involvement of traditional leaders in security architecture and investment in training of security personnel to bring about efficiency.

On his part, Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode advocated the concept of collective vigilance whereby all stakeholders in security management have properly defined roles and relationships to stay ahead of all form of violent crimes such as terrorism, cyber and transnational organized crimes.

He said the concept had become imperative in view of the vulnerability of the State to various security threats due to continuous influx of foreigners and people from other parts of the country into Lagos on a daily basis.

According to the Governor, “There is a need to examine the concept of collective vigilance in a Mega-City security system in which all stakeholders have properly defined roles and relationships from the primary levels of community security initiatives to tertiary levels in the State.

“This has become necessary because of the continuous influx of foreigners and people from other parts of the country, in their thousands, into Lagos State on daily basis. This has increased our vulnerabilities to threats of terrorism, transnational organized crimes, cyber and violent crimes of wider security dimensions,” the Governor said.

Governor Ambode, who was represented by Chairman of the State’s Security Trust Fund, Mr Oye Hassan-Odukale, said since assumption of office, his administration had been consistently implementing its cardinal programs built on the tripod of security, infrastructural development and poverty alleviation through employment generation, adding that it was gratifying that the policy had been yielding positive fruits.

He said: “Our human security focus has not only shaped our security architecture which is safety and civilian driven, from the primary to tertiary levels, but also guided our choice of infrastructural development projects and directly improves the life of Lagosians.

“A further analysis of our efforts indicates that less time now spent in traffic by motorists based on our transport sector reforms, better roads to increase the lifespan of vehicles, affordable housing programs, functional health care and education services, as well as employment generation value chain, have all enhanced the well-being of Lagosians. These efforts have indeed reduced all shades of criminalities in the State.”

While describing the theme of the summit – “Securing Lagos State: Towards a Sustainable Framework for Modern Mega City,” as apt, Governor Ambode said it was specifically designed to deliberate and chart a course to resolve and improve on the existing security in Lagos and the need for a clear direction to the expansion of security architecture to deal with security challenges of the future combining the short, mid and long terms respectively.

The Governor said as a government, his administration was not only passionate about development but also security of residents, adding however that in spite of the support extended so far by the State Government to security agencies through the Security Trust Fund, a lot more still needed to be done.

“We must create a sustainable security framework; a framework which will stand the test of time and enable every stakeholder in Lagos to participate. So far, we have been encouraged by the massive contributions of many corporate organizations to the Security Trust Fund, but there is still a lot more to be done,” Governor Ambode said.

The Governor, who also called for consideration of private security sector into the mainstream security architecture of the State, said his expectation at the summit was nothing but actionable outcomes that could be implemented to make the State safer.

“Our children must be able to move about without us worrying about them. We must ensure that Lagos continues to be a State of prosperity for all residents and visitors,” Governor Ambode said.

Lagos State Government Vows to Scale Up Support for Military Operations

Lagos State Government Vows to Scale Up Support for Military Operations

Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Wednesday expressed the readiness of his administration to support and scale up the operations of the Nigerian Army against kidnapping, smuggling, armed robbery, illegal oil bunkering and other security challenges in the State.

Speaking at Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja when he received the new General Officer Commanding (GOC), 81 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Enebong Okon Udoh on courtesy visit, Governor Ambode said though a lot had been achieved in securing the State in the last 32 months, the State Government would nonetheless continue to support military operations designed to ensure residents go about their social and economic activities without let or hindrance.

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He said as a government, security had been the major pillar of his administration upon which the economic growth of the State was built, adding that he remained committed to sustain the successes recorded so far.

“As an administration, we have always said that security is the real major foundation of the economic growth of Lagos and it has been proven in the last two and a half years. I have had the cooperation of all the security agencies in Lagos; they have worked together and there has been a lot of collaboration and improvement.

“I want to also say that I am going to scale up the activities of ‘Operation Mesa’ and I welcome the idea to set up new Army units that tackle issues that relate to kidnapping, smuggling and all the vices that we have. I am also very excited that we will soon have the presence of the Army in most of those areas that we are having troubles such as Ikorodu, Epe, among others so that we take security down to the people.

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“There is already a division in Badagry and I just believe strongly that with the collaboration that we are renewing, Lagosians are going to benefit more from what we are doing and with the security apparatus in the right place at the right time, everybody can go about their economic and social activities and then we have a peaceful year ahead of us. I believe strongly that Nigeria is going to be better off as long as we sustain security and peace in Lagos,” Governor Ambode said.

The Governor said it was gratifying that Udoh was coming at a very significant time in the State being an election year which called for security to be kept 24/7 considering the cosmopolitan nature of the State, just as he expressed optimism that the new Army chief would immediately join in the efforts to build on past successes and enhance security in the State.

Responding to some of the requests for collaboration and assistance for the Nigerian Army, Governor Ambode commended all the security agencies in the State, and restated his commitment to support them to ensure security o lives and property.

Earlier, Udoh commended the Governor for the massive support extended to security agencies and in particular the Nigerian Army, saying the development had greatly facilitated their operations in preventing and combating crimes in the State.

He also thanked the State Government for swiftly responding to the issue of ocean surge recorded in Bonny Cantonment recently, just as he urged that that the challenge should be expeditiously addressed.

Besides, Udoh sought further assistance of the Governor in areas of operational vehicles, facelift for military formations in the State and support for special teams already set up to combat illegal oil bunkering, kidnapping, cultism, among others.

Tough Time Awaits Offenders of Sexual, Economic Crimes

Tough Time Awaits Offenders of Sexual, Economic Crimes

…Commissions Special Courts For Quick Dispensation of Justice

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday commissioned a Sexual Offences and Special Courts for Corruption and Economic Crime Cases, with a vow to make the State uncomfortable for sexual offenders and bring perpetrators of economic crimes to justice without delay.

Governor Ambode, who spoke at the commissioning of the Courts at G.R.A in Ikeja, noted that economic crimes and sex-related offences had become too rampant, hence the establishment of dedicated courts, to handle such matters for quick dispensation of justice.

Representative of Lagos State Governor and Deputy Governor, Dr. (Mrs) Oluranti Adebule (2nd right); Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Opeyemi Oke (right); Wife of the Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode (left) and wife of the Vice President, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo (2nd left) during the commissioning of Sexual Offences and Special Courts for Corruption and Economic Crime Cases at the Rosaline Omotosho Courthouse, Ikeja, on Thursday, February 1, 2018.
Representative of Lagos State Governor and Deputy Governor, Dr. (Mrs) Oluranti Adebule (2nd right); Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Opeyemi Oke (right); Wife of the Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode (left) and wife of the Vice President, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo (2nd left) during the commissioning of Sexual Offences and Special Courts for Corruption and Economic Crime Cases at the Rosaline Omotosho Courthouse, Ikeja, on Thursday, February 1, 2018.

He expressed optimism that the creation of these special courts will assist in expeditious prosecution of economic and financial crimes and ensure that justice is attained by bringing offenders to quick justice.

The Governor, who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Mrs. Idiat Adebule, disclosed that the State was collaborating with the British Council and other agencies charged with investigating and prosecuting corruption offences, by providing enabling environment, responding to inquiries and giving information to economic and financial crimes commission, to assist them in performing their statutory functions.

He added that the present administration had a coordinated strategy, across state agencies and non-governmental organizations, to prevent violence against women, children and men, through the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT), to provide holistic response to issues of sexual and gender-based violence in the State.

In her remarks, wife of the Vice President, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo, commended the State Government for implementing the Hon. Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mr. Justice Walter Onoghen directive, by designating not one but four courts as special offences courts, stressing that it would aid speedy hearing and prosecution of such cases.

Worried by the statistics given of reported cases, Osinbajo urged the citizenry to look beyond the statistics, as many more cases were probably not reported.

She urged everyone to aid the long arm of the law to reach far and wide, by ensuring that cases were reported and given speedy hearing. This, according to her, would ensure that justice reigns for all survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse, not just in Nigeria but around the world.

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Representative of Lagos State Governor and Deputy Governor, Dr. (Mrs.) Oluranti Adebule (2nd right); Chairman, House Committee on Judiciary, Hon. Funmi Tejuosho (right); Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire (3rd right); wife of the Vice President, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo (3rd left); wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode (2nd left) and the Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Opeyemi Oke (left) during the commissioning of Sexual Offences and Special Courts for Corruption and Economic Crime Cases at the Rosaline Omotosho Courthouse, Ikeja, on Thursday, February 1, 2018.

According to her, “The statistics given are frightening, even more so, some do not report the crime. We must look beyond statistics and focus on the faces of the survivors.

“We must ensure that the long arm of the law reaches far and wide, all and sundry. We must assist them to bring justice which they deserve. Justice should reign for all the survivors, not just in Nigeria but around the world”.
Speaking to journalists, wife of the Governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, described the establishment of special courts for sexual offences, as a new phase in criminal justice administration, meant to bring sex offenders to book.

She observed that cases of rape, defilement and related others, had become an albatross around the society, which must be fought with appropriate machineries of government.

Mrs. Ambode said that the development would assist in comprehensive implementation of the Child Rights Law, Law against Domestic Violence and other female-friendly laws, already in force in the State.

She said, “Happily, the establishment of the special courts, will guarantee sufficient judicial attention, quick determination of cases bordering on sexual offences and ultimately, quick dispensation of justice. It will also go a long way to assist in comprehensive implementation of the Child Rights Law; Law against Domestic Violence and others.”

The Governor’s wife urged victims to always speak up, while parents and guardians should assist juvenile victims report such cases to appropriate government agencies for redress and punishment for offenders.

In her address, the Chief Judge of Lagos State, Hon, Justice (Mrs.) Opeyemi Oke, noted that the special courts for sexual offences were first of its kind in the country, adding that Lagos State was also the first, to carry out the directive of the Chief Justice of the Federation, on the establishment of special courts, to try corruption and economic crimes.

She expressed optimism that the justice sector in the State would strive to be at its best to bring succour and hope to the people, stressing that the judiciary remained a sanctuary of hope for the common man.