Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode on Wednesday vowed that he is ready to shutdown some locations hibernating militants in a bid to drive out militants and vandals out of Lagos.
The governor spoke when the Acting Inspector General of Police, IGP, Ibrahim Idris paid him a visit at the State House, Ikeja, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.
Ambode commended the police and other security agencies for waging war against militants and vandals in the state, saying that whatever it would take, the state government was ready to stamp out militants and vandals out of the state.
“I want to let you know that whatever it is that we have done in the last 14 months for security agencies in Lagos State, most especially Nigeria police, we will sustain and also enhance whatever that support it is. I want to use this platform to commend the police and other security agencies on our fight against the militants and the vandals that we have embarked on this ‘Operation Awase’ in the last one week.
“I have just been briefed this morning on the impact of what has been done. We need to sustain and also ensure that these people don’t ever go back to the creeks. On our part as a government, whatever it will take to drive the militants and vandals off Lagos, we are going to do it; if it means shutting down some locations where they seem to be hibernating in terms of any commercial trade, we will do it and make sure that we guarantee the lives of our people.
“And whatever it is in terms of financial support to security agencies to sustain the success we have had in the last few days, we will also do it,” he said, while commending President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the joint operation.
The governor also appealed to the IGP to deploy more policemen to Lagos as the current number of police officers in the state was too meager to police a population of over 20 million.
“You have worked in Lagos before, the Lagos of then and now are different, the population is over 20 million people and the land space is not expanding, so the number of police we have as against the population is very meager; as you recruit more police officers, we appeal for more, we have space for them, we can build more police stations.
“We have reduced crime in Lagos by about 70 percent in the last six months and again, some ugly points are coming along our waterways, so we want to partner with you to say that we want to keep our waterways safe. We need a greater presence of marine police along our waterways, we also know that we can support them by supplying gunboats and again we want to say that we will take care proper care of their welfare,” he added.
Ambode appealed to the IGP to partner with the state as the former IGP, Solomon Arase had done, noting that his government would continue to support the police.
“The primary purpose of being in government is really to protect lives and property and the good welfare of our people, we want to solicit that we continue the good relationship we have had with the police.
“Security forms a cornerstone of our administration here, we are driving on a tripod, there is no way we can sustain Lagos as a major commercial nerve centre or a place that is cosmopolitan if people don’t feel safe. So, for whatever we are providing in terms of infrastructure, there is no way it can be used effectively if people don’t feel safe to use it. Without mincing words, we need to support security agencies to allow our people to use the goods and services we provide for them,” he said.
Speaking, Idris said he was in Lagos to visit police formations and to conducted some major assessment in conjunction with other security agencies in places where militants had been driven out.
He assured that the police would continue to support Lagos as the governor had provided adequate equipment for them as well as took care of their welfare, adding that: “We promise within our capacity to provide you and the people of Lagos the best security service in this country.”