Security: Sanwo-Olu Compiles List Of Deserted Buildings, Ready To Take Action - Paul Ukpabio's Blog


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Monday 7 June 2021

Security: Sanwo-Olu Compiles List Of Deserted Buildings, Ready To Take Action

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Monday said the state has compiled a long list of abandoned buildings across local government areas (LGAs) and local council development areas (LCDAs), which may serve as safe haven for criminals.

Sanwo-Olu, who was 731 days in office on May 29, said the state government would be taking proactive action towards ensuring that the buildings do not become security threats in communities where they have been found.

The popular thinking is that such buildings are occupied by criminals who use them to plan attacks. The government plans to take control of such buildings.

The governor hinted at the development during a live interview on Arise TV, where he shared details of his administration’s achievements in the last two years.

At a consultative meeting on security held last month, participants requested the Lagos government to take control of uncompleted buildings and abandoned vehicles to boost security in the state.

The governor, who spoke against the background of rising spate of kidnapping and criminalities in some states across the nation, said the Lagos government remained at alert to prevent the spillover of criminalities from neighbouring states into Lagos.

To this, Sanwo-Olu said his administration was on the verge of recruiting additional 1,500 men into the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps (LNSC) to boost intelligence gathering in local communities and aid security agencies to quickly respond to crimes.

According to the governor, Lagos had in the last six months collaborated with the Police to strengthen community policing in addressing localised crimes and checking activities of cultists.

The state gave the police 1,250 men from the state’s Neighborhood Watch.

He stressed that the strategy would be effective if residents remained vigilant and offered information on strange activities in their neighbourhoods.

He said: “Two days ago, I received a report of abandoned buildings across the state from Neighbourhood Watch. The list is about 250 pages with addresses and pictures of the buildings. These are some of the places where the criminals and miscreants hide to launch their activities. We are passing this list to the security for immediate response and actions. This surveillance speaks to the necessity of state police. All the preventable criminalities happening are because we have not agreed as a nation that there should be state police.

“We have been an advocate of state police and it is one of the submissions I made at the recent public hearing on constitution amendment in Lagos. State police are a force whose time has come. Whether it is Amotekun or Neighbourhood Watch, these are all pointers to the necessity of states to have police to make them stronger. All the kidnapping and killings we have been witnessing can be nipped in the bud. Our challenge in Lagos is not having forests where kidnappers hide; it is more about cultism. I need to think global but localise my response to these challenges.”

On whether the state would ban commercial motorcycles, popularly known as Okada, Sanwo-Olu said the government was providing an alternative to the motorcycles with the First and Last-Mile minibuses, adding that thousands of them will be pushed into the system.

The governor, however, disclosed that transport unions had reached out to the state government on regularisation of informal transport services, including Okada.

He said efforts were underway to leverage biometric data for approval of commercial motorcycle operation in areas where it had not been proscribed.

On the recent progress recorded by the state in its response to infectious diseases, Sanwo-Olu revealed that Lagos now has the capacity to detect new variants of Coronavirus (COVID-19), given procurement of the latest PCR machine.

This, he said, came ahead of the move by the state to build a world-class Infectious Disease Centre in Yaba to support research for diagnosis and treatment.

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