Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) of Lagos State has advocated for state a state run policing arguing that its existence will tremendously held nib the commission of crimes in the bud.
The governor spoke in his Alausa office, Ikeja while receiving the four kidnapped and released Journalists and their driver who were on their way back to Lagos after an official assignment in Uyo, the Ikwa-Ibom state capital.
He said there was dire need to quickly restructure what he referred to as” the faulty federal structure in Nigeria” identifying state police as one of the faulty federal structures.
The governor noted that state policing was long overdue adding that one of the notable things his administration has achieved is the installation of lights on major streets at night; maintaining that it has greatly reduced crime rate in the state.
According to him: “ The need to allow states to have their own Police is long overdue. This will tremendously assist in checkmating criminal activities. Some areas of coverage may be determined to include items like managing petty crimes which does not need the attention of the Federal Police.
It is very wrong for the States to always wait on the Federal Government to post policemen to it without taking due cognizance of its peculiarities.
Again, another factor that could help the individual states fighting crime which my administration has done is in the area of street lighting.
If there is constant power supply, artisans with entrepreneurial skills will flood the cities and rural areas, reduce incidence of criminal tendencies among the youths who would be kept busy and have money in their pockets to meet their demands.”
The governor said if the various states are allowed to recruit their Policemen and women, it would enable it maintain a sizeable number of personnel that it can adequately cater for while ensuring that federal police would be pre-occupied with fighting more violent crimes.
Fashola said that unless adequate and sophisticated equipment to confront crime are put at the disposal of the Nigeria Police, people cannot accuse the force of inefficiency.
The governor said part of the reasons for the success story of the operations of the Police and crime prevention in Lagos is the provision of welfare packages like insurance cover for the Policemen which offer protection for the family in the event of death or disability.
The governor also noted that the rate of criminal activities in Lagos State has reduced because hitherto unemployed youths are now meaningfully engaged in greening, landscaping, and beautification or employed in the various construction sites.
Earlier, the Chairman Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos State Council, Alhaji Wahab Oba, expressed appreciation to the governor and members of the state Executive for the roles played during the kidnap saga.
He said the kidnappers were very unanimous in commending the works of Governor Fashola in Lagos.
In his words: “The kidnappers kept on saying that we are lucky that we are from Lagos where things work unlike what is happening in other states in the East. They also complained about lack of good governance”.
He urged the Governor to help convey the appreciation of the kidnap victims to President Goodluck Jonathan and the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ogbona Onovo for putting machineries in place which led to pressure on the kidnappers leading to their release.
The NUJ Chairman canvassed special security funds and provision of modern sophisticated equipment to the Police to be able to confront abductors and kidnappers whom he said had sophisticated weapons in their possession.
Oba added that he and his colleagues have dedicated their lives to fighting kidnappers and that they have concluded plans to document their experience in a book form to assist security agencies in tracking such people down in the future.
Also on the entourage of the NUJ during the “Thank You Visit” were the Vice Chairman of the Council, Mr Deji Elumoye, and the freed journalists – the Zonal Secretary of NUJ, Mr. Adolphus Okonkwo, the Acting Secretary, Mr. Sylva Okereke, NUJ Member, Mr. Sola Oyeyipo while the State Deputy Governor, Princess Adebisi Sarah Sosan, the Secretary to the State Government, Princess Adenrele Adeniran-Ogunsanya, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Opeyemi Bamidele among other members of the Executive Council and top government functionaries joined the Governor in receiving the Journalists.
In a similar event, the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW,) Lagos state council has pledged its total support for the state’s security trust fund, describing Fashola’s drive in that direction as enviable and commendable.
It also promised that none of his members would be used to disrupt the 2011 election anywhere in the state, noting that the constant fracas in Mushin area of the state was always being caused by the factional members of the Oodua Peoples’ Congress. According to the chairman, Yakubu Olohunwa who led a delegation of his members to the NUJ state secretariat on a solidarity visit yesterday, “None of our member will be a willing tool in the hands of politicians in the next election because that is our joint resolution to stop and correct the misconception of our union and profession by Nigerians; no commercial driver is associated or synonymous with thuggery in any other place in the world but Nigeria; there is the need to correct that by ourselves.”