Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, and security agencies in the state on Tuesday restated the state’s commitment to check the menace of robberies in traffic gridlocks in some trouble spots in the state as well as street trading.
This was the outcome of the State Security Council meeting in Lagos, presided over by Ambode, a statement by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Habib Aruna, said.
Briefing Government House correspondents on the outcome of the meeting, state Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, said the council looked at the security and crime situation in the past one month with a focus on the menace of street trading, land-grabbers, and all other security issues in the state.
Owoseni added, “We have looked at the areas where we are winning; the areas where we need to step up our activities and one of those areas we looked at critically is the issue of the guys who rob on the highway in traffic gridlocks.
“We have taken a decision to do all that we can do to step up activities, first, to decongest the traffic gridlocks, because if we do that, once traffic moves, we are going to take the street traders and hawkers off the road.”
He believed decongesting traffic would go a long way to reduce the incidence of unsuspecting citizens falling prey to traffic robbers.
The CP stated, “Once we decongest, we would also reduce the incidence of people robbing motorists on the road and of course, the response time to distress calls will be improved upon. Those are the things we looked at.
“The meeting also took the decision that we continue our onslaught against criminals, especially the land grabbers to make sure that they are brought to justice. Once they are arrested, diligent investigation and prosecution will be carried out, to show examples to others.”
Owoseni said the council also deliberated on the menace of cultists, adding that efforts had been made within the last one month to jointly clamp down on them by security agencies.
“We want to sustain the rate that we are carrying out raids at black spots. We want to make sure that the issue of gangsterism and cultism is completely wiped out in the state,” he said.
On the resurgence of motorcycle operators popularly called okada riders, the Police Commissioner said security agencies in the last one month had raided some identified black spots.
He said about 595 suspects were arrested during the raids and close to 400 have been prosecuted while 332 were convicted.
Owoseni added, “We would not relent; we would continue with our onslaught to raid black spots to get rid of street hawking and people who perpetrate crime in the state.
“We’ve been all out to make sure that we enforce those laws to get them off the roads, where they are not supposed to be. We are not just doing that, we are also inviting the various okada riders associations to let them know that everybody needs to obey the law and that when laws are made, they are not just made for the fun of it, but to be enforced, and jointly with their cooperation, to sensitise them on the need for them not to break the law.”