The Commissioner of Police , Lagos State Police Command, CP Hakeem Odumosu , has deployed personnel of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal ,EOD unit to markets dominated by Igbo traders in thestate.
This move followed a video that went viral on social media where traders, especially those in Alaba International Market, Ojo, were warned of an impending attack on the market by some unknown persons. In the video, traders were instructed not to treat the information with kid gloves but to be alert. In a meeting with leaders of markets dominated by the Igbos in Lagos, yesterday, at the PoliceOfficers Wives, POWA hall, Ikeja, CPOdumosu, reiterated the command’s resolve to ensure the safety of all Lagosians, irrespective of their tribes. Addressing the traders, Odumosu, stated that such information would never be treated lightly, whether it turned out to be false.
As the first step to ensuring that none of the markets was attacked, he said the Police had begun a Show of Force across the state, in collaboration with other security agencies, informing that all the security agencies were prepared to wade off anyone or group of persons that intend to create problems in Lagos.
Noting that security was a responsibility of everyone, he urged the leaders to go back to their respective markets and pass the message to others. He stressed the need for them to strengthen their internal security at their respective markets and watch out for strangers and suspicious movement of materials into the markets. Briefing journalists at the end of the meeting, Odumosu said: “ We are aware that about 72 hours, a video went viral wherein somebody alleged that Alaba International market would be attacked, especially the electronic section. Although it was said to be a particular group, we decided to extend the meeting to all the major markets, not only the Alaba International market.
We have those from Trade Fair where we have the concentration of the same set of people. We have them at Ladipo market, computer village and parts of the Island.
The purpose of the meeting is to let them know the preparedness of the command should any security breach come up and that they should go about their lawful businesses without fear of any attack.“We have heard of the areas where they said they needed assistance,like manpower , police stations and posts.
I advised them on how to enforce their own regulations within their markets, to empower their own officers because we know at their markets they have their own task force that enforce their regulations.
We told them to empower them (task force ) and that they must not ascribe it to any tribe and also , that they must not allow any form of disunity among them because they need to close ranks so that collectively they will fight any external aggression, if there is any”.
Some of the resolutions reached include the need to illuminate the market because in darkness crime strives; that nobody should be allowed to sleep in the market at night; that they should have a holding bay where goods are kept because If they allow them to load at night, some people may cash-in in on that .“ It was also agreed that combustive substances should not be sold in the market; that all electricity gadgets must be put off before leaving the shops to avoid fire incidents and the need for them to say something if they see anything and we have given them our telephone numbers to that effect.
On the part of the command, “ our strategy won’t be disclosed but one thing is that as part of our proactive measure, we started a show of force at the Alaba International market and across the length and breadth of Lagos to mobilize our resources, in order to let the criminals know that we are ready,as well as to let law abiding citizens know Police are there to protect them.“ We are not just having covert patrol .
What we have is increasing our presence. The EOD personnel are already out.
They are everywhere. In fact for the past two months now, we have been b having training and retraining of all the officers of the command right from Area Commanders, DPOs and others .All are part of proactive measures to prepare the police for any eventuality”.
Earlier in their responses, some leaders from the respective markets who spoke, lauded Odumosu’s efforts at ensuring they were saved and called for more action on the part of the command, noting that since Lagos was the only secured state in the country, there was need for all hands to be on deck to sustain the tempo.
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