By Robert AKPAN, Senior Investigator Reporter, Lagos.
NEWLY deployed Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Police Command, CP Hakeem Odumosu has said that his deployment to Lagos was more of homecoming; assuring that Lagos residents would soon begin to experience a distinct community policing model. The highly cerebral police officer-cum crime buster extra-ordinaire dropped the hint in a parley with media professionals who are majorly on crime and security beat moments after the handing-and-taking-over ceremony at the Lagos Command Headquarters Ikeja. He took over from Mr. Muazu Zubairu who was recently elevated to the rank of an Assistant Inspector-General of Police AIG and redeployed to the Counter Terrorism Unit CTU, Force Headquarters, Abuja. A visibly excited Odumosu who grinned from both cheeks all through the meeting newsmen, moving from one table to another, exchanging banters with old media friends later intoned that he was also a journalist at large adding that there exist a strong correlation between the Police as an organization and journalism profession. To him, both the Police and the journalist are important aspect of daily life; stressing further that the one needs the other to succeed. “What many may not know is that I am also a journalist having gone through NIJ even though I am not practicing. May be when I drop the uniform I shall cross over and begin to push the pen as you people are doing now. But the truth of the matter is that we both need each other to succeed because we are one. If I succeed, you succeed; if I fail, you fail. But God will not allow us to fail. So when I hear that people are saying I hate journalists, it pains me because that is not true.”
Continuing, CP Odunosu who is also a lawyer said, “When I took over as Commander of RRS then, crime rate in Lagos State had skyrocketed and the Governor called me to say, what shall we do to stem the tide and I took my pen and drew out a master plan and handed it over to him. He looked at it and said if all that I had streamlined on the plan is done, will that restore sanity back to the state and the people would sleep with their eyes closed? I said yes, the people would not only sleep with their eyes close, they would also snore. And that was it. So what I did was to restrict myself to crime fighting devoid of media hype; and I know most of you can bear me witness. I am one of you; so how can I now snub you? Some of you came to me personally and we did what we were to do with each other personally. The help I had I gave, the one you had you gave to me also. That was the style I adopted.”
Assuring that Lagosians would soon begin to heave a sigh of relief in the areas of sundry crimes especially, traffic robberies and defiant Okada riders, the Police boss vowed that he would be tough with Okada riders who violate extant laws restricting their operation outside designated areas in the state maintaining that he would device a totally distinct traffic management and control model that would engender free flow; in which case, traffic offers might have to work at odd hours. In addition, he assured that measures would be emplaced to monitor hoodlums who might cash in on traffic snarls to attack hapless commuters and motorists saying, “We shall be tough with those Okada riders who violate existing restrictive orders on their operations. I am a lawyer, so I know the law. We shall not victimize anybody but we shall not also condone lawlessness. The law restricting their operations in certain areas in the metropolis is still in place. We shall also tackle the issue of long traffic in the state by making our officers work extra hours. Some might have to do shifting because I discover that some officers on traffic duty live far away from their area of duty so before they get to their duty post, there would have been heavy traffic buildup. We shall have to do something about that. I know the Governor is doing something about the bad roads but the issue is that we shall work closely with him to ensure that our efforts complement.”
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