By Emma Nnadozie & Ifeanyi Okolie
LAGOSâ€”LAGOS State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Marvel Akpoyibo, yesterday, said he had reduced crime rate in the State.
Akpoyibo who was speaking during a courtesy visit to Vanguard Newspapers, said: â€œThe statistics we have showed a significant reduction in crime from 2007 till date. So far, it has been so beautiful in Lagos.Â I am a very ambitious crime fighter.Â I am allergic to crime.Â I canâ€™t condone it.â€
The Police boss added: â€œWhen I came on board, I computerised crime statistics. We rolled out a mission statement of zero-tolerance to crime.Â The statistics we have shows an improvementÂ Â from 2007 till date. Bank robberies were high in 2007 but came down drastically to zero in 2010.Â Robberies also went down. We are very friendly in Lagos State.
The state government has absolute confidence in us. That was why they gave us equipment and we are working together.Â All we are saying is that every stakeholder has a responsibility to collaborate with us in fighting crime.â€
Akpoyibo who was fielding questions from Vanguard Senior Editors said he had set up a team of detectives to fish out killers of a reporter with The Nation Newspapers, Edo Ugbagwu.
He said: â€œLife is precious and it is painful losing such a person. His brother was there. He told the story clearly as it happened.Â I know that the pen is mightier than the sword but not when gun is involved. We have set up crack detectives to investigate the case. We are looking for clues.Â Everybody should collaborate with us. It is in our interest to track down the killers.Â We canâ€™t afford to fail.â€
Akpoyibo who advised journalists against reporting negative stories against their country, argued that â€œin other climes, the rate of crime is high but reportage is controlled. Out there, they are nationalistic. I know that Lagos is where we have the bulk of the press and their reports have been helping us assess ourselves.Â They are our mirror. But we should know that every stake holder has a responsibility in crime control.â€
On police killings, the commissioner said: â€œNobody has a right to take the life of others. We have broken the rule in the realm of antagonism. It is now community policing. Just like on extortion, nobody comes to give me envelop. The only thing they give me is that the area is calm, nobody has been killed. That is my style of policing Lagos.
â€œSo far, I have been taking action against those caught extorting money from members of the public. The public should also call to give us information and action will be taken without delay.Â We have a list of those dismissed in the past. We have a mechanism for purging ourselves in the police.
If every other organisation has that, things will be better. Those involved in such practices are few deviants, but we monitor and regulate ourselves.â€