Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, Thursday reiterated his call for the establishment of State Police in the country noting that it is the most potent platform on which internal security could be built.
Governor Fashola, who spoke at the City Hall, Lagos venue of the 8th Town Hall Meeting on Security, said a situation where a Chief Executive, also called “Chief Security Officer” of a State has no control over the instruments of state security and enforcement of law and order could not guarantee any security in that state.
Citing the state of security in Lagos as a result of the intervention of his administration in the last eight years, the Governor pointed out that the crime situation in the State in 2007 would have made it ungovernable if he had relied on dictates of the nation’s constitutional structure which places all control and operational command of the security agencies under the exclusive control of the President.
He said it would have tantamount to irresponsibility for his administration to fold its arms in the face of daily violent robberies and loss of life and property in the State adding that the citizens of Lagos elected him to solve their problems including insecurity and other forms of crime that threaten their life and comfort.
The Governor advocated the continued financing of the State’s Security Trust Fund (LSSTF) as a platform for the sustenance of high level security in the State saying the innovation is a model for transparency, resourcefulness and cosmopolitan law enforcement.
He enjoined them to endeavour to continue funding the innovation pointing out that Lagosians have a moral obligation to retain the model given the impact it has had in improving the quality of life of residents who, according to him, have been largely removed from the atmosphere of fear and anxiety which was the situation some years ago.
The Governor said the sustenance of the Fund since 2007 by the State and Local Governments in partnership with individual and corporate bodies has also improved the lifestyle of Lagosians bringing back the night economy and life changing innovations which have combined to make Lagos a model after which other states of the country now build their security initiatives.
“Today, many streets are lit up at night, the shops and fuel stations run till and beyond midnight; some do so for 24 hours. The night economy is up and running, supported by patrol vehicles and our security men and women”, he said adding that night life has also resumed for most residents.
He, however, said since the establishment of the Fund the State has consistently confronted the various crimes such as armed robbery, kidnapping and terrorism adding that from an arm stock of just 37 rifles available to the Rapid Response Squad in 2007, the State now has thousands of guns and other security gadgets for the overall maintenance of law and order in the State.
Highlight of the event was the presentation of Bravery and Awards of Excellence to 25 Police men and women who have distinguished themselves in service in the last one year. While nine of the officers were given the Award for Gallantry and Service Excellence, 16 others were given the Award for Honour and Service Excellence.