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Traditional Rulers will be involved in policing — Amotekun commander

Says there is no need for any pension for ex-governors in Lagos

By Olasunkanmi Akoni

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has said the local security outfit in the South West region, tagged, “Amotekun” corps has not commenced operations in the state due to existing security apparatus in the state.

Recall that Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, also chairman of of Southwest Governors Forum, said Amotekun corps will begin a joint operation in the wake of an attack in Igangan, Ibarapa in Oyo State.

While condemning the act, Akeredolu said, “While we will encourage the security agencies to get to the root of this latest act of provocation, we have directed the Commanders of the South West Security Network, Amotekun, to convoke a joint security meeting of all Commanders in the South West with a view to commencing joint operations in the region immediately.

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Sanwo-Olu, while appearing on an early morning Television Show in Lagos, on Monday, with panelists, led by Dr, Rueben Abati, on the second anniversary of his administration as well as achievements and State of the Nation, assured that criminals will find no space in the state 

According to him, “Security is a very serious issue that needs to be taken so. We have had such incidents in Lagos. Part of the strategies we have adopted in Lagos is that all of us need to speak up, say something when we see something. 

“It bothers on people knowing everyone in their neighborhood, who are the people you see in and around you, roll up your window in traffic, ensure you are not standing on the street and talking on the phone without being conscious, don’t enter a strange vehicle, tip the people can keep to.

“There are structural and infrastructural issues. That is why we are supporting the police, building more commands, and recruiting more officers into the neighborhood watch so that local intelligence can be gathered well.

Amotekun

“I was in the committee on Amotekun and I supported it fully but they said we were doing it because of Lagos’s experience of neighbourhood watch.

“The concept of Amotekun is to go into the bush and focus on border patrol. What borders does Lagos have? Is it Beger. We all need to think out of the box and proffer local solutions peculiar to each state. It is not just about the fanciful name of Amotekun, but in the quality of what we are seeking to achieve. 

“So my colleagues agreed that Lagos should strengthen the 6,500 men in the neighbourhood watch and collaborate. It’s all about intelligence gathering, go into the communities to gather information for the real security operatives to deal with. 

“And we have 1,250 men of our neighborhood watch to the police to support their community policing. Lagos is still paying their salaries. 

“So we need to go back and recruit these numbers back into the neighborhood watch to strengthen the corps.

“We have approached the traditional rulers and local government chairmen to give us men who know and understand the community well for this purpose. Just two days ago I got a full compendium of abandoned vehicles, about 50.

State police

“Insecurity is thriving because we have not agreed, as a nation, that we should have state police. Amotekun and neighbourhood watch are reflections of state police. 

“If members of these groups are properly trained, they will be stronger and challenges around kidnapping and others will be nipped. We are also employing technology, CCTV cameras, command and control centres, live cameras and feeds, but as chief security officer, there is a limit to which you can do. 

“Each state has its own challenges, Lagos revolves around cultism and I need to deal with it, I need to think global but act locally as to its peculiarities, robbery in traffic, kidnapping, how do we solve it.”

Ban on Okada

On whether the state would ban commercial motorcycles, popularly known as Okada, Sanwo-Olu said the Government was providing an alternative to okada operations with the First and Last-Mile minibusses of which thousands of them will be pushed into the system.

The governor, however, disclosed that transport unions had reached out to the State Government on the regularisation of informal transport services, including Okada.

He said efforts were underway to leverage biometric data for approval of commercial motorcycle operations in areas where it had not been proscribed.

On pension Act

The Governor said the repeal of the Pension Act for former Lagos Governors and military administrators was a popular action taken by his administration to cut spending and improve good governance.

“There is no need for any pension for ex-governors in Lagos. I won’t be earning any pension after my tenure.

“The bill is before the state House of Assembly for consideration into law,” he said.

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