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By Trek Africa Newspaper

L-R: DCP Waheed Ayilara handing over to the Commissioner of Police, Lagos Command, CP Adegoke Fayoade as Board Member, LSSTF, Dr Ayo Ogunsan looks on…



Ladies and gentlemen,
I stand before you today with profound humility and a deep sense of responsibility as I take over the duty and function of the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command. All adoration and thanks to the Almighty God, who rules and exercises dominion over the affairs of men, for this unique opportunity bestowed on me. Similarly, I am deeply grateful for the trust that has been placed on me by a consummate super cop with consummate skills, the Inspector-General of Police, Federal Republic of Nigeria, IGP Kayode Adeolu Egbetokun, NPM, PhD. In the same vein, I wish to express my profound gratitude to Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Executive Governor of Lagos State, for his unwavering support and commitment to the issue of security and safety in Lagos State. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, let me at this point express my deep appreciation to my predecessor AIG Idowu Omohunwa and the Acting CP, DCP Waheed Ayilara, who held forth before my assumption of duty today, for sustaining and improving on the established security architecture in Lagos State. I would like to unequivocally pledge my absolute dedication, commitment and resolve to the principles of justice and community safety in Lagos.

In line with the constitutional mandate of the Nigeria Police, as clearly stated in the Section 214 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Policing mission and mandate as enshrined in Section 4 and 5 of the Nigeria Police Act 2020, my unalloyed commitment and that of the officers and men of this Command is to ensure the safety and security of the people of Lagos State. This will be achieved through practical, proactive policing, community engagement, strict and effective law enforcement strategies. I am determined to create a peaceful and crime free environment in which all residents of Lagos can flourish.
Our vision is to be a highly professional and trustworthy Police force that serves as a beacon of excellence in maintaining law and order. We aim to build a strong partnership with the community members, local organisations and law enforcement agencies to foster a safe and secure environment for all and sundry. My vision for effective policing of Lagos will rest on the following pillars.
Community Engagement.

L-R: CEO Badinson Security, Mr Matthew Ibadin; Board Member, LSSTF, Dr Ayo Ogunsan; Commissioner of Police, Lagos Command, CP Adegoke Fayoade and Chairman, PCRC Lagos, Apostle Kehinde Showemimo

There is no gainsaying that community policing is the cornerstone of a safer society. I am wholeheartedly committed to operationalising community policing from a concept into an indispensable operational tool. In community engagement, the police should be:
visible and accessible to the public;
know, and be known to the public;
respond to the communities’ needs;
listen to the communities’ concerns;
engage and mobilize the communities;
be accountable for their activities and the outcome of the activities.
In line with the core principles and responsibilities outlined in Sections 4 and 5 of the Nigerian Police Act 2020, I shall leverage our available human and material resources to enhance the overall well-being of the people of Lagos State. This will be achieved through active collaboration with community leaders, organizations, and residents to build trust and collaborate on joint problem solving together by focusing on the enforcement of laws, preservation of peace, protection of our citizens, and the maintenance of law and order.


2. Crime Prevention and Reduction
Criminality is not an inherent natural phenomenon but rather a manifestation of societal dynamics. Our commitment to crime prevention and reduction serves as our guiding light, which will lead us towards a safer and egalitarian society. Our strategy for addressing crime in Lagos State will therefore encompass a multifaceted approach. We will place a strong emphasis on proactive measures to prevent criminal activities. Our focus will be on high-risk areas, with a dedicated effort to pursue those who violate the law vigorously. Additionally, I will rejig the police force in Lagos State to make it more responsive in the fight against traffic robbery, kidnapping, cultism, violation of laws on restriction of commercial motorcycles from prohibited areas in the state, car theft and other neighbourhood-related crimes. This is with a view to reducing public apprehension and enhance the overall quality of life for our citizens. Our comprehensive strategy will involve identifying and transforming identified hotspots into soft spot or safer areas, effectively turning potential trouble zones into secure and peaceful community hubs.
On Kidnapping, Cultism and Robbery/Traffic Robbery
A special focus will be on these crimes as they negatively impact our citizens and society. A specialized unit made up of well trained and properly equipped personnel will be established to work closely with other law enforcement agencies that will confront these crimes. We shall collaborate with the judiciary to ensure swift prosecution and conviction of criminals to serve as deterrence.
Intelligence gathering capabilities will be strengthened. Our men will take battle frontally to the criminal elements, hotspots and vulnerable areas and aggressively pursue violators of law and ensure the public space is dominated by our men. Identified areas prone to this category of criminal activities shall adequately be taken care of and given special attention.
It is pertinent to note that the clampdown on commercial motorcycle operators in prohibited areas, which has led to drastic reduction of crime and accident cases will be sustained and intensified. Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers will give daily update on the level of compliance in their area of responsibility. Other measures will be emplaced to ensure smooth, total and strict compliance.
Crime Mapping
We shall leverage on crime mapping to analyse and visualise crime pattern in Lagos. Relevant data collected daily, weekly, monthly and indeed at regular interval will give direction on pro-active policing strategies, resources allocation and informed decision making in Lagos Command with the Divisional Police Officers, Area Commanders, Squadron Commanders and policymakers. I have taken a deep look at the current crime analysis in Lagos and shall take immediately steps to clinically handle the problem areas.
On Result-Oriented Collaboration
We shall partner with sister security agencies such as the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, the Department of State Services, the Armed Forces and other relevant agencies for the purpose of ensuring and sustaining peace and security in Lagos State. The Neighbourhood Safety Agency (NSA) which is a grassroot agency of the State Government will also enjoy our continuous and active partnership as their timely and actionable intelligence will be acted upon promptly and decisively.
Police Community Relations Committee
The age-long collaborative effort between the Police and PCRC will be strengthened. The PCRC serves as a link between the Police department and the local community in fostering trust, understanding and cooperation. We shall further encourage this partnership for a safer Lagos State.
The 4th Estate of the Realm
The 4th Estate of the Realm refers to media or press. They play a crucial role in a democratic society and we shall collaborate with them transparently for effective dissemination of information on crime, safety measures and public awareness campaigns initiated by the Police. As the eyes and ears of the public, we shall welcome constructive criticism on our performance to strengthen our security architecture in the State. Police accessibility to the press and members of the public will be given prominence and more dedicated lines will be released for unhindered accessibility and feedback on issues of community safety and security.
3. Police Accountability and Professionalism
Accountability and professionalism are the twin pillars upon which public trust in law enforcement stands. Therefore, our commitment to transparency, accountability and professionalism will be unwavering. The Command will be dedicated to upholding the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Police Act 2020, the Rule of Law, and the safeguarding of human rights. We will also adhere to the global best practices outlined by the United Nations Policing Standard and embrace a code of professional ethics that meets international standards. To ensure our dedication to these principles, we will strengthen our internal disciplinary mechanism to swiftly and impartially investigate any allegations of misconduct by our personnel.
All concerted efforts will be made to bolster up transparency and regularly communicate with the public about police activities, share relevant information and provide updates on ongoing investigations. Members of the public will be actively engaged in community events, holding public forums and neighbourhood watch programme. This will help to build relationship as the community work together with the police.
In line with our commitment to upholding human rights, we will conduct regular, unannounced spot checks at police stations and Holden cells. These checks will encompass a thorough review of weapons and ammunition to ensure strict adherence to recommended regulations. Police will be held accountable within the framework of established laws and regulations, guided by the precise directives of Force Order 237 regarding the use of firearms. We will ensure that police officers show empathy, cultural sensitivity and effective communication so that they can interact with the public in a respectful and professional manner, respond effectively and promptly to people’s concerns and demonstrate a commitment to public safety and foster trust. We believe that citizens have a legitimate expectation of exemplary conduct from law enforcement officers. In return, we advocate for mutual respect and recognition between police personnel and the public. This reciprocal relationship serves as a cornerstone of our community-oriented policing approach, ensuring a safer and more harmonious society.
Technological Advancements and Data-Driven Policing
In an ever-evolving world, it is crucial for law enforcement to stay flexible and forward-thinking. Therefore, we are committed to enhancing our communication systems, dedicating resources to state-to-the-art forensic capabilities, and embracing the potential of data analytics to take a pro-active stance against criminal activities in Lagos State. We shall endeavour to use cutting-edge technologies, including predictive analytics and artificial intelligence to elevate the efficiency and effectiveness of our operations and help to identify potential criminal activities by analysing data from various sources such as social media, CCTV cameras and other sensors. The implementation of data-driven policing will empower us to strategically allocate resources to areas of utmost importance and detect emerging crime trends in real-time.
Public Awareness Campaigns
Members of the public will be enlightened about the risks and precautionary measures they can take to protect themselves from robberies, kidnapping and other related crimes. Awareness will be raised by collaborating with other sister agencies by conveying community meetings and workshops.
Special Police Neighbourhood Squad will be established to respond to incident promptly. Further public awareness programmes will be emplaced to help individuals understand the consequences of criminal behaviour and empower them to make choice. This will involve campaigns and workshops against drug abuse, violence and other criminal activities. Efforts will also be made to re-orientate the general public on the importance of swift reportage of crime and criminal activities in their area, by collaborating with media houses. This orientation will be carried out on a daily and weekly basis to ensure its sustainability.
Training and Capacity Building
To sharpen the reflexes of our officers and men to deliver effective service in line with global best practices, we shall collaborate with relevant stakeholders, experienced trainers and subject matter experts such as academic institutions, international organisations and NGO’s to be in partnership with the command to train and develop training programmes to cover various aspects in policing, including law enforcement, community policing, investigation techniques, human rights, crisis management, musketry and weapon handling, and leadership skills. This training programme or needs within the force will be prioritized with focus on areas requiring urgent needs. Further efforts will also be made to promote specialised training such as cybercrime, forensic investigation, counter terrorism and community engagement.
These trainings will be regularly monitored and evaluated to ascertain the effectiveness. Feedback will be gathered from trainers and make necessary adjustments, improve the contents, delivery and output outcomes on enhancing quality service delivery.
Traffic Management
It is our determination to ease the traffic congestion in Lagos, by adopting measures that will yield fruitful results. Our determination is to reduce the excessive amount of time Lagosians spend on the road and the enormous economic loss usually recorded daily. We shall improve and enhance traffic law enforcement by increasing the presence of traffic officers on the road to strictly enforce traffic rules and regulations to deter traffic violations and improve general road discipline. We shall also educate and create public awareness about traffic rules, regulation, promote the importance of responsible driving and discourage reckless driving behaviour. We shall collaborate and work in synergy with other traffic management agencies to achieve these laudable objectives.

Improving Public Access to Police Station
Police station and front desk must be made attractive for more accessibility and visit of citizens to report matters or make complaints. Unnecessary bottlenecks in receiving complaints shall be removed. The front desk serves as the initial point of contact with a police officer when individuals visit the station to address their concerns or file complaints. The unwholesome attitude of some police officers alienates the public and contributes to the negative image of the Police. Front desk officer must be a good listener, neat, available, approachable, fair and respectful, helpful, attend to complaints professionally and conduct himself or herself in a manner that will not tarnish the image of the police or alienate officers from the community.
In summary, it is our resolve to enhance the quality of life of Lagosians, strive to foster a liveable, safe and fair city by being in partnership with the community members and incorporating neighbourhood policing into all facets of our operations. We are determined to protect the lives and property of Lagosians, impartially and enforce the law and fight crime both by preventing it, and aggressively pursuing violators of the law. We shall adopt preventive strategies such as raids of criminal hideouts, intensive and extensive patrol, strategic pin down points, cordon and search, intelligence led policing, use of cutting-edge technologies, stop and search, visibility policing, active collaboration with other sister agencies and the Armed Forces, synergy with relevant institutions/Department and other security stakeholders and policymakers. While adopting these strategies, we shall maintain high level of integrity, transparency and accountability and trust highly expected of us. We shall strive hard to bridge the gap between the police and members of the public, value human life, respect the dignity of individuals and render our services with courtesy and civility.
In conclusion, my vision for policing Lagos is rooted in a commitment to safety, justice and harmony in our vibrant Mega City under the creative, imaginative, astute leadership of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu. His enormous and unparalleled support given to Lagos State Command in the onerous task of policing the bustling economic hub of Nigeria and a vital economic powerhouse in Africa cannot go unnoticed. I profoundly thank you sir, for this immense support and pledge that under my watch as Commissioner of Police, Lagos State shall remain more flourishing, peaceful, safe and secure. Crime will be fought to a standstill; lives and property of Lagosians will be religiously safeguarded, while social life and businesses shall thrive like never before.
I thank you very much for your kind attention.

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