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.
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.
“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.