Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, Friday, formally handed over a cache of heavy security equipment including vehicles to the State Police Command and the Rapid Response Squad (RRS), just as he charged them to ensure that the equipment are deployed effectively to tackle criminal activities as residents will no longer accept excuses.
The Governor who spoke at the official handing over of 100 four-door salon Cars, 55 Ford Ranger pick-ups, 10 Toyota Land Cruiser pick-ups, 15 BMW power bikes, 100 power bikes, Isuzu branded trucks, three (3) helicopters, two(2) gun boats, 15 Armoured Personnel Carriers, revolving lights, siren and public address system, vehicular radio communicators, security gadgets including bullet proof vests, helmets, handcuffs, and others, uniforms, kits and improved insurance and death benefit schemes for officers, put the total cost of acquiring the equipment to N4.765 billion.
He said with the new development, the Lagos State Police Command has been repositioned to compare to similar outfits in other modern City States, expressing optimism that the equipment will go a long way to aid security agencies respond faster to crime.
“Our Police Command will have its operations significantly driven by the right technology and equipment that will match the emerging sophistication of crime in our contemporary time”.
“Members of the Police Command have been undergoing training to better equip them for the job. We have also rebranded the Rapid Response Squad of the State police Command to give them a new identity”.
“Given the encouraging partnership and support of well-meaning citizens and corporate organisations, we are on course to making our State a safe haven only for law abiding citizens”, the Governor said.
He however urged the officers of the State Police Command to ensure that the purpose for which the equipment was acquired is not defeated.
“We say to whom much is given, much is expected. Law enforcement officers are never ‘off duty.’ They are dedicated public servants who are sworn to protect the public at any time and place. Lagosians will not accept excuses”, he said.
Governor Ambode also seized the occasion to call on President Muhammadu Buhari to further strengthen support for the state, noting that the security of the state reflects directly on the economic fortunes of Nigeria.
He also urged residents to play their part by volunteering useful information on suspected criminals and activities that might lead to the breach of security in our communities to the Police through the state emergency hotline 112.
President Buhari in his remarks commended Governor Ambode for his laudable role in prioritizing security and the purchase of the security equipment that would make the state safer and conducive for residents and citizens of the state.
The President who was represented by the Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Abdurrahman Dambazau, said the security equipment is a clear demonstration of the fulfillment of the Governor’s mantra to the people of the State.
“This is indeed a laudable achievement by Lagos State Government to improve the security of life and property of the people of Lagos State. I therefore salute the Governor of Lagos State for initiating this judicious use of public funds to protect Lagosians”, Buhari said.
The President who said that addressing security challenges calls for collaboration among critical stakeholders, especially elected government representatives, also enjoined other states to emulate the great strides of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode by supporting security agencies in their various states.
He however called on men of the Lagos State Police Command to ensure that the equipment is preserved through diligent maintenance culture in order to justify the huge resources expended.
Speaking earlier, the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase, said with the huge investment in security equipment donated to the police by the State Government, Governor Ambode has shown that beyond his widely acknowledged commitment to the security wellbeing and welfare of the people, he is determined to prioritize security.
Arase said the gesture was a clear demonstration of political will and clear vision to rebrand, re-equip and re-energize the security architecture in a manner that will motivate security personnel to operate optimally and remain step ahead of criminal elements in the battle to re-assure citizens of security and safety.
The police boss, who acknowledged that Governor Ambode has been consistently motivating security agencies in the State, said the Governor deserved to be commended for remaining a strong executive pillar for which the security architecture of Lagos could confidently rest.
While appreciating Governor Ambode, Arase said: “I can assure you that the huge investment will not be in vain. For by this gesture, you have motivated us and assured us that as we work hand-in-hand as security agents to advance your vision for a safe and secured Lagos State, you, as the Chief Security Officer of Lagos State, will be by us, meet our needs and give us the executive leverage needed to succeed.
“You have challenged us by this gesture and I can confidently assure your Excellency that we shall not fail you as we appreciate that to whom much is given, much is expected,” Arase said.