CP OWOHUNWA TELLS LAGOSIANS: MY POLICING WILL BE CIVIL ENOUGH TO PROTECT LAW-ABIDING, POTENT ENOUGH TO BRING DOWN DEVIANTS
- holds inaugural strategy meeting with commanders of Lagos Command
The Commissioner of Police in Lagos, CP Idowu Owohunwa yesterday hinted Lagosians on the policing style that they should expect under his administration. The academic cum administrator CP of Lagos made this known in his first-ever strategy meeting since assumption of office at the State Police Command earlier in the year, National Association of Online Security News Publishers, NAOSNP report.
The cerebral police officer, Owohunwa who just passed his first acid test in Lagos State with the just-concluded general elections revealed: ‘Having successfully put the elections behind us, it has become expedient that we refocus our attention on our traditional policing functions and commonly chart resilient pathways that will advance the attainment of our mandates in a manner that will address the fear of crime amongst all Lagosians. This meeting presents the right and perfect takeoff point for this agenda and the object of the meeting is fourfold. First, is to keep you all in tune with my policing values, principles, expectations, and broad operational style in our drive to restore police primacy, trust, ethical standards, respect, efficiency, and discipline within the system. In this regard, it is recognized that all of you assembled here today represent the finest and best strategic police managers across all the Departments within the Command Headquarters, fourteen Area Commands, and one hundred and ten Police Divisions in Lagos State. Hence, perfecting the framework to work as a team and present a common front in tackling our policing challenges remains critical. By virtue of this reality, your support, cooperation, understanding, and time-tested and diverse operational experiences remains invaluable to the attainment of my policing vision and plans in Lagos State. The framework for this will be perfected during this meeting.’
while the third, is to undertake a comprehensive review of the patterns and trend of crimes in the State, appraise our current policing strategies, and draw on our diverse professional experiences towards evolving new operational strategies and action plans that will stabilize the internal security order in Lagos State in a sustainable manner.
‘In this regard and in line with my leadership strategy that is built on the principle of professional engagement and an all-inclusive and participatory approach, we shall interact, jointly dissect the complex crime dynamics and sundry operational and administrative issues that regulate policing in Lagos State, commonly evaluate the efficacy of our current law enforcement strategies and evolve new action plans that will strengthen the attainment of our policing mandate.’
He told the strategic commanders present at the meeting, ‘As we now re-direct our attention from the election security functions to our routine policing mandates, the Inspector General of Police and indeed, Lagosians expect us to sustain our sense of service and professionalism towards guaranteeing the safety and security of all citizens in Lagos State. In this regard, the immediate challenge facing us is the increasing threat that violent criminals, particularly, cultists are posing to Lagosians. Indeed, the activities of cultists have today, evolved to become the most concerning threat to public peace and security in the State and it is expedient that we strengthen our operational strategies and action plans that will address this potent threat. While the details of our operational approach to this security challenge will form a fundamental part of our discourse, as a starting point the need to strengthen the capacity of Area Commands and Divisional Police Officers to proactively respond to this threat has become imperative. This approach calls for the deployment of an elitist, highly-mobile, well-trained, well-equipped, highly experienced, operationally-tested, and compact Special Operations Police Units to Area Commands where cultism is most prevalent. The plan will ensure that the unique intelligence assets of the Force are not optimally leveraged on to support our anti-cultism operations, it will be executed in a way as to ensure that the anti-cultism battle is taken right to the doorsteps, hideouts, and safe havens of cultists in such a coordinated and sustainable process until they are unmasked, smoked out, brought to justice and stability restored across the State.’
The former PSO to IGP Usman Alkali Baba, Owohunwa continued: ‘In furtherance to this plan, the operations of the eight Special Units that are currently centralized under the Office of the Commissioner of Police will either be decentralized, re-organised, re-positioned or disbanded with personnel in the disbanded or re-organised Units mopped up and re-deployed to Divisional and Area Commands to strengthen their manpower profile, empower them to reinvigorate the anti-cultism warfare, and confront other violent crimes that are currently threatening the State at the field level’, NAOSNP gathered.
‘In order to complement this initiative, all Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers are charged to reinvigorate their convoy patrol, intelligence-led operations, and visibility policing that will emphasize physical deployment of police personnel and operational assets to police the public space. Armchair DPOs or Area Commanders shall not be tolerated. You should all go out to coordinate police operations and supervise your personnel within your Areas of Responsibilities. As we go into the details of our meeting, I wish to once again remind you that my leadership principle rests on discipline, professionalism, compliance with due process, observance of rule of law and respect for human rights of the citizens. It is also one that is founded on the principle of criminal justice delivery which according to Adams Smiths recognizes that ‘mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent’. In this regard, you must continue to provide leadership that will evidently protect the innocent and manifestly bring the guilty to deserved justice. This is our mandate. This we must manifest if we are to retain the confidence and trust of the Lagosians.’
‘Above all, you must continually engage the citizens in your jurisdictions and integrate them into your policing activities so as to bridge the trust gap, while resisting the urge of corruption, custodial violence, misuse of authority, or misapplication of lethal assets all of which will widen the trust and partnership gap between us and the citizens and impact on our optimal service delivery. You must be reminded that you will be held vicariously liable for these professional breaches if recorded under your command.’
CP Owohunwa warned the deviants in the society. ‘In emplacing this plan, I wish to sound a clear note of warning to so-called cultists and other criminals in Lagos State Area that under my watch, there shall be no hiding place for them, unless of course, they voluntarily renounce crime and opt for peaceful and legally permissible means of existence. Should they remain intransigent, they shall in the coming days, feel the heat of law enforcement and justice.’
‘To Lagosians, I wish to once again re-assure of our firm commitment to continue to police them in a manner that will be civil enough to protect the law abiding, but potent enough to bring the deviants that are threatening our common values to justice in the swiftest, rule of law-guided and transparent manner.’
‘They should therefore, go about their normal businesses and ignore the elements that are attempting to inflame post-election passion with intent to pitch citizens against each other. While we continue to work assiduously to guarantee peace and order within the public space, we solicit the citizens’ cooperation as we cannot attain this all alone. We also wish to firmly warm all agents of destabilization as well as purveyors of fake news and hate speeches to desist, henceforth, for common good as the Command’s cybercrime capacity is being enhanced to identify, apprehend, and prosecute such elements within the dictates of extant laws’, NAOSNP gathered.