The Executive Secretary of the Lagos State Security Trustfund (LSSTF), Hon. Razak Balogun has harped on the need for all Lagosians to be much aware that ensuring maximum security in the state is a collective responsibility, adding that state police was long overdue.
Hon. Balogun made the declaration, while hosting a delegation of the Lagos State House of Assembly Correspondents Association (LAHACA) in his office.
In his words, “we pledge to continue to help Lagosians by supporting them to ensure that we have a very robust security network in Lagos.
“It is only in this part of the world, where when a police officer asks you to use your office toilet you will say he cannot enter your office, we must try as much as possible to inculcate good habit of trying to assist our security agencies because without them we all will not be safe in this society.
“I also call on corporations and individuals to continue to donate to this trustfund because without the donations there is nothing we can do to secure the state.”
He also to used the opportunity to plead with Lagosians, to see the various security assets of the state as theirs and to assist the security agencies.
He added that but for the existence of the LSSTF, it would have been pretty difficult to secure the state.
“After the end of my first five year tenure, Governor Sanwo-Olu renewed my tenure, so it tells you that at least there is a lot of confidence reposed in one and one is carrying on that mandate and without this organisation I don’t know how the security of Lagos would be.”
Commenting on the agitations for state police, Balogun stressed that it is long overdue, citing models of well developed climes, where even the position of the Inspector General of police is elective rather than selective and that it gives the individual much Independence required to do the job effectively.
“In some places of the world the Inspector General of Police is even elected, you run for that office and you have your term of office so you are secured.
“I think the issue of state Police or whatever nomenclature given to it for me is long over due, I just told you about our state that in 2005 or thereabout we unbundled the health sector because it was too over centralized.
“You need a needle, you have to write from Epe to Alausa, how can a system run that way? So if we can do that in 2005 in Lagos, how do you now explain a federal police for a population of about 200 million people?
“Maybe it was working when we were 50 million people or 30 million or maybe nine, ten or twelve states or whatever or three regions, now you have 36 states plus one and over 200 million people and you still think you have to get all these things from Abuja, obviously it’s not working.
“It is a known fact that without the intervention of the Lagos State government our police organisations in Lagos State cannot function.
“The records are there and so if we can do all that, we can create our Lagos state Neighbourhood Safety Corps and we are making progress, you see our folks in their uniforms well kitted, you admire them and so why can’t we have a state police and if you say no, what is so difficult about having such reformation?
“ All you need to do is put good legislation in place and know that nobody is going to override people,” Balogun reiterated.