Sanwo-Olu moves to secure abandoned buildings over growing insecurity

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has expressed the desire of the state government to secure abandoned buildings in the state as a pre-emptive move to secure the state from criminal elements who might seek to make them a safe haven.

Sanwo-Olu on Monday received a list of abandoned buildings across Local Government Areas (LGAs) and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) the popular thinking is that such buildings are occupied by criminals who use them to plan attacks.

While stating the resolve of the state government to take control of such buildings, he said the move forms part of the measures being taken to secure the state.

Sanwo- Olu spoke of the development during a live interview on Arise TV, where he shared details of his administration’s achievements in the last two years.

Participants had at a consultative meeting on security held in May requested the state government to take control of uncompleted buildings and abandoned vehicles to boost security.

The governor said the state government remained on the alert to prevent the spillover of criminalities from neighbouring states and that his administration was on the verge of recruiting additional 1,500 men into the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps (LNSC) to boost intelligence gathering in local communities and aid security agencies to quickly respond to crimes.

He said Lagos, in the last six months, had collaborated with the police to strengthen community policing in addressing localised crimes and checking activities of cultists. The State gave the police 1,250 men from the state’s Neighborhood Watch.

He stressed that the strategy would be effective if residents remained vigilant and offered information on strange activities in their neighbourhoods.

“Two days ago, I receive report of abandoned buildings across the State from Neighbourhood Watch. The list is about 250 pages with addresses and pictures of the buildings. These are some of the places where the criminals and miscreants hide to launch their activities. We are passing this list to the security for immediate response and actions. This surveillance speaks to the necessity of state police. All the preventable criminalities happening are because we have not agreed as a nation that there should be state police.

“We have been an advocate of state police and it is one of the submissions I made at the recent public hearing on constitutional amendment in Lagos. State police is a force whose time has come. Whether it is Amotekun or Neighbourhood Watch, these are all pointers to the necessity of States to have police to make them stronger. All the kidnapping and killings we have been witnessing can be nipped in the bud. Our challenge in Lagos is not having forests where kidnappers hide; it is more about cultism. I need to think global but localise my response to these challenges.”

On whether the State would ban commercial motorcycles, popularly known as Okada, Sanwo-Olu said the Government was providing an alternative to the motorcycles with the First and Last-Mile minibuses; thousands of them will be pushed into the system.

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