President Muhammadu Buhari and Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, have handed over 388 vehicles and bikes to Nigerian Police, Lagos Command, Lagos Neighborhood Safety Corps (LNSC), and other law enforcement agencies, fortifying their armory towards crime combating particularly patrol of blackspots across the state.
A breakdown of the vehicles and other gadgets handed over to security agencies in Lagos includes 150 units of double cabin vehicles, 30 patrol saloon cars, four high-capacity troop carriers, and two anti-riot water cannon vehicles, two Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs), 200 security patrol bikes were part of crime-fighting equipment commissioned to strengthen security responses across the State.
Other gadgets commissioned and handed to the security agencies to ease their operations include 1,000 units of ballistic vests, 1,000 ballistic helmets, 1,000 handheld walkie-talkies, office furniture, and other ancillary resources.
As gathered, the vehicles and other gadgets were procured from donations made by Nigerians into the coffers of Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF), an autonomous agency that partners with the private sector and individuals to provide vital support to security agencies in their effort to combat crimes in the state.
The President, who personally took inventory and commissioned the security equipment alongside Sanwo-Olu, on Thursday, and handed them over to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Alkali Baba, for crime prevention, saying, the equipment would go a long way in boosting the morale of the police, and enhance their capacity to fight crime and combat criminality.
Buhari, while addressing guests at the commissioning that was also attended by Speaker of House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, Buhari praised Sanwo-Olu for the investment, saying the Governor had shown a true resilient spirit in the face of the massive destruction Lagos suffered last October.
Commending the governor for his resilience, he noted acknowledged the ‘Rebuild Lagos’ initiative kick-started to replace assets torched by arsonists in the wake of violence that trailed EndSARS protest, describing the move as very laudable, just as he urged other state governors to emulate Sanwo-Olu’s bold and proactive actions.
The President said: “Let me commend Lagos State for what it is doing in the areas of reinforcement and support for the security agencies in the State. I also commend all the private sector partners who have risen up to the challenge and partnered with the State Government in its ongoing battle to quell the upsurge of crime and insecurity. It is my hope that this public-private sector partnership will be an example to others to demonstrate similar acts of generosity and responsibility.”
Earlier, Sanwo-Olu hinted that the need to invest in vehicles and other security gadgets to boost law enforcement within Lagos was embarked upon following the coordinated violence that followed the EndSARS protests and that the State’s Police Command suffered losses in infrastructure and logistics, while the morale of the personnel dropped as a result of the impact.
Since then, the Governor pointed out that Lagos had felt the negative effects of the loophole in security architecture, accounting for a rising wave of criminal activities by hoodlums seeking to take advantage of vulnerability.
He said: “No society can survive without a motivated and well-equipped Police Force. Hoodlums and criminals know this; hence, the relentless attacks on police installations nationwide. It is our responsibility as Government to ensure that criminals’ nefarious aims are not achieved. They seek to demoralize and destabilize the police and other law enforcement agents, but we will continue to boldly proclaim, ‘Not on our watch’!
“Today, Lagos State Government is handing over brand new crime-fighting equipment to the State Police Command as our own way of assisting the Police Force to rebuild after the violence and massive destruction that followed the EndSARS protests last October. We are determined to stabilise the security situation in Lagos State, as our own contribution towards lasting national security.”
The Governor, meanwhile, vowed to make Lagos inhospitable for criminals and traffic robbers, charging the police not to spare anyone found wanting for armed robbery, kidnapping, cultism, and banditry.
He said: “State Government, in conjunction with the Local Government, has expended enormous resources on the crime-fighting equipment and other apparatus being handed over today. I urge the police to do everything in their power to ensure that these assets are handled with care and a sense of true ownership and responsibility, so that the gears can last long and maximally deliver the intended outcome, which is sustained security in Lagos.”