By Oki Samson
The Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, CP Idowu Owohunwa has reiterated the significance of a strong relationship between the Nigerian Police and the citizenry to the delivery of safety and security of all.
He made this known during his familiarization visit and interactive session with police officers and the community under the Area F Police Command, Lagos State under the leadership of the new Area Commander, ACP Bayo Sulaiman.
He also had an on-the-spot assessment of the facilities of the Area F command which included a Police Hospital, a school, Ikeja Police Division, the offices, and the cells and commended that they are in good shape.
In his address, CP Idowu Owohunwa revealed: ‘I know not of any Police anywhere no matter how well-trained, well-behaved, well-equipped that can succeed without the buy in, trust, and co-operation of the citizens.
Nowhere in the world so this interactive session is important.
Your feedback, concern, advice which you will give us is based on your experience in terms of law enforcement in Lagos. So whatever we discuss will form a critical component of my policing strategy in Lagos.’
The esteemed audience of police officers and community at the interactive session included the Area Commander of Area F Police Command, ACP Bayo Sulaiman; all Divisional Police Officers under Area F, among other top officers.
On the citizen side, the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Chieftaincy and Traditional Matters, Prince Bayo Osiyemi; former CEO of Bible Society of Nigeria (BSN), Barr. Fred Odutola; Chairman of Omole Phase II Estate, Hon. Abimbola Oshikoya; PCRC Chairman Lagos State, Apostle Kehinde Showemimo among others.
CP Owohunwa told them, ‘this is an all-inclusive process not praise singing. Praises can motivate but we have to partner in a frank manner.
My leadership will be based on your input and help us to police you better, give us informed criticism where we can improve so we can assess our plans’ while informing them of the need to have more interactive forums between Police and the citizens, ‘PCRC can be part of the process of documenting resident associations to have interactive forums with the Police. This will help us a lot’.
On his plans for policing in Lagos, the cerebral and administrative CP noted: ‘Corruption is a thing of concern to me.
For me, I am not corrupt and I am not corruptible so it gives me courage to take the task of ridding Police of corruption.
However, corruption is mutual. If you do it right, you don’t have to be forced to give.
Temptation of rejecting is hard. I am trying to organize our Gender and family unit into a full-fledged office.
I have relocated them from the small office to the IRT building where they will have playground, kitchenette, offices where they will have capacity to investigate gender issues.
We statutorily have processes on operational excellence, we will uplift it so that if we have officers who do gallantly and exceptionally, we can project them before the IGP.’
He praised Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu for investing in policing.
‘Lagos State is the most resourced thanks to the government – LSSTF, Neighborhood Watch, Traffic etc. Lagos State is far better than others.
It is the only state in which a crime will occur and in 10 minutes, you will see various Police teams there.’
In his welcome address, the Area Commander in charge of Area F Police Command, ACP Bayo Sulaiman recalled: ‘The Area Command was created in 1998 with just two divisions.
However, over the years Area F has witnessed corresponding growth into 9 divisions, 4 police posts, and 1084 personnel.
As one of the most sensitive area commands in Lagos State including key infrastructure like Lagos State Government House, Lagos State Judiciary, Lagos State House of Assembly, General Hospital, Police College and Lago State Police Command among other important private entities, Area F is very strategic.’
He praised the CP Owohunwa for his immense support, ‘I am happy to say Area F has been relatively calm and peaceful with crises such as kidnapping, armed robbery, bank robbery have been tackled head on.
In the midst of this, Area F has enjoyed the grace of God and unrelenting effort of officers and men in cooperation with strategic partners and synergy with sister security agencies and members of the public.’
‘All this won’t be achieved without the dedication and close mentorship you have bestowed upon the Command since you were appointed the CP of Lagos.
We have keyed into your policy of zero tolerance for crime and corruption and respect for fundamental human rights.
We shall continue to drink from your wealth of experience which you will in your magnanimity give to us.
We express our gratitude to the Lagos State Government for the moral and logistic support to the Command so far. We also thank the IGP for repositioning the NPF for better and quality service.’
The Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Chieftaincy and Traditional Matters, Prince Bayo Osiyemi, hailed the CP Owohunwa and the Lagos State Police Command for effectively coordinating the security component of the just-concluded general elections in Nigeria.
‘I want to salute our officers for the role they played during the last elections they were professional, proactive, and down-to-earth.
The totality of incidences across the country, Lagos recorded the least despite being the hotbed.
I have seen a lot because having travelled far and wide, I know that police-citizen relation in the UK is key.’
An expatriate who was also present at the meeting commented: ‘I have lived here in Nigeria for 34 years and I have travelled almost all Nigeria by road.
When the Police and the common man align, we can do a great deal as a nation.
The security of the country is so important for all of us. We look forward to your success in Lagos.’