JOE CHIBUEZE and CYRIACUS NNAJI write that security operatives from the Lagos State Police Command deployed to the riverine area of the Ishawo Community in Ikorodu area of the state have commenced total demolition of illegal waterfront shanties within the creeks where criminal elements hibernate to perpetrate their nefarious activities.
What happened in Lagos penulti­mate week when four police officers and a soldier were ambushed and brutally killed in Ikorodu area was indeed a call for self-reassessment, reor­ganization, adoption of a more modern, proactive and innovative security strategy to nib criminality in the bud.
Part of the challenges was personnel. However the Lagos State Govern­ment recently inaugurated the State Neighbourhood Safety Corp to reach the nook and cranny of the state to help curb criminal­ity in various communities in the state. Yet all this ap­pear to have inflated crime rate in the state. The very day, the Corps outfit was being unveiled in Agege, street urchins and criminal elements waylaid innocent passers-by around Alafia, Orile area of Lagos and dispossessed them of their belongings not forgetting to machete those who put up resistance. This is aside the criminal massacre of soldiers on duty.
Yet, it is significant to ob­serve the propensity of re­active policing in this clime. The security operatives have embarked upon de­molition of criminal hide­outs in Ishawo because an incident took place there, but the truth must be told that there are other Ishawos that remain time bombs in the state.
More so, situations like this, many suggested, call for functional CCTV cam­eras and forensic laboratory equipment. This, they say, should come with security monitoring of phone calls. According to them, this will definitely curb kidnap­ping and other anti-social behaviours that are trans­acted through phone calls. Though many may say such monitoring will impinge on privacy but many argue that the safety and security of the nation is paramount.
On the Ikorodu killing, the State’s Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni who briefed journalists in Ishawo on the ongoing op­erations in the creeks by a combined team of the State Marine Police, the Spe­cial Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), mobile police­men and the men from the anti-kidnapping squad in coordination with the local vigilante group, said 13 sus­pected kidnappers have al­ready been arrested and are currently aiding the team to track down the remain­ing suspects still on the run.
It would be recalled that two weeks ago, four police officers and an Army Cap­tain lost their lives after an ambush unleashed on them by suspected mili­tants in Ishawo area.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, while condoling with the families and loved ones of the departed of­ficers, had assured that ev­ery perpetrator directly or remotely linked to the das­tardly act would be brought to justice in the shortest possible time.
Owoseni said that the Governor immediately or­dered a joint operation to hunt down the perpetra­tors, adding that the opera­tion was yielding positive results.
“So far so good follow­ing the attack that occurred at Ishawo where we lost four of our policemen and an army captain, we have deployed operatives in the water. What you have seen now is for us to appraise what we have been doing for the past one week. So, quality arrests have been made and we are talking to them because the arrests that were made we believe that we get some evidential value from them, so they are talking to us, at least that makes us to know who we are looking for so that we won’t be just wild catch­ing,” Owoseni said.
The Commissioner of Police who was joined on the inspection of the joint operation to the den of the militants in Ishawo Creeks by the Commander, Rapid Response Squad (RRS), Mr. Tunji Disu, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Habib Aruna, security squad leaders and some journalists, said the visit was to appraise the work done so far and the next line of action.
“Earlier this morning, they were able to get to the proper camps of these criminal elements where they saw some of them cooking food who fled immediately they saw the combined team. We just feel that we should take a decision to destroy the camps.
“The destruction of the camps are ongoing, that is why we are here and the of­ficers that are handling the destruction of the camps, they are right inside the creeks now and at the end of the day, they would share the story as they finish the operations, but our move­ment here is just for you to see the terrain and see what the security operatives are facing with regards to po­licing this environment and that is why we are clamour­ing for the destruction of these shanties”, Owoseni said.-The Authority