Lagos PPRO visits The Guardian, seeks collaboration in crime fighting
The Lagos State police command yesterday called for collaboration with the media to rid the state of crimes and criminal elements.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Adekunle Ajisebutu made this known during an advocate visit to The Guardian.
Ajisebutu, said the Force is aware of efforts by the newspapers to hold the government accountable, and expressed willingness to strengthen its relationship with the media.
He stressed that The Guardian is the first media house he was visiting since coming on board because of the great respect he has for the Flagship.
The police image-maker, who visited with the Administrative Officer to the PPRO, Stephen Kuti were received by The Editor-in-Chief of The Guardian, Mr. Martins Oloja.
Ajisebutu said: “I know and understand the value of the media in the country. The Guardian is on our reading list and coming here today is to further strengthen the existing relationship between our command and The Guardian. The Commissioner of Police is very grateful and appreciates the support of The Guardian over the years and seeks further collaboration.”
He stressed that the Force remains committed to ensuring Lagos roads are rid of traffic robbers, urging the public to cooperate with the Command.
On allegations of cases of brutalities and extra-judicial infractions by men of the Force in the state, he said: “Bad eggs are everywhere and in every organisation. We are working towards sensitising them. We carry out periodic training and retraining.
“It is not as if lessons have not been learnt from EndSARS, but we are aware that some are difficult to correct. We are strengthening our disciplinary mechanism so that any police officer who runs short of professionalism will be appropriately dealt with.
“We have nothing to hide. The police force is an organisation that do not shield its erring personnel like some do. We will not condole unprofessional acts by any of our men. The CP, Hakeem Odumosu will not shield anyone.”
On police response to distress calls, the police image-maker blamed road constructions at different locations in the state as a challenge to quick response.
“We are all aware of ongoing construction works in parts of the state and these cause gridlock such that it becomes difficult for police patrol team to manoeuvre some of the routes. Also, there are some estates and streets that are gated. But we will continue to work on our response time and make adequate adjustments.
“We can’t eradicate criminals overnight, we are not perfect but I’ve taken note of everything and we will go back to the drawing board with a view to correcting the loopholes,” he said.
In his response, Oloja said the flagship will not relent on objective reporting on security in the state, stressing that it is the responsibility of the media to hold government and public officers accountable.
He said: “We appreciate this synergy, we know the responsibility and task of police in Lagos, which has the largest economy in the country and in the West Africa. Our responsibility is to hold people in power accountable, even the security agencies, which is in the interest of the public. Because the public will ask us,” he said.
The Editor-in-Chief called for the deployment of more security operatives to the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, as it has become a haven for criminals, especially in the evenings.
On his part, the Editor of The Guardian, Mr. Alabi Williams called for renewed efforts to rid the force of excesses.
He said: “ We have our duty enshrined in section 22 of the 1999 constitution to perform. And we know that in the course of doing that we encounter the police. It is good that we have this synergy and we should be partnering like this often.
“EndSars was monumental and a wake up calls to everyone. It came with consequences and left experiences for all. The police seem not to have learnt much from the event because much of what Endsars exposed we are still seeing.”
He further called on security agencies to remain committed in the discharge of their duties.
Also present at the meeting were Sunday Editor, Kabir Alabi Garba; Saturday Editor, Chuks Nwanne; Managing Editor, Chinedum Uwaegbulam, Online Editor, Tonye Bakare and Chief Security Officer (CSO), Jason Nwaogazi.