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SANWO-OLU GETS LAGOSIANS’ BACKING TO TACKLE SECURITY CHALLENGES

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Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu
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• Stakeholders Seek Action on Okada, Abandoned Buildings, Others

• Residents Renew Demand for Special Status

Lagosians have asked the State Government to take decisive actions on some security issues to rein in what they describe as a disturbing trend.

Among others, they demanded action against what many described as the menace of commercial motorcycles, otherwise known as Okada, kidnapping, armed robbery, cult clashes, and violent assaults.

It was all at a Stakeholders’ Meeting on Security held at the Adeyemi Bero Hall, Alausa, Ikeja where Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and leading lights in security circles listened to a group of panelists who highlighted the state’s security challenges.

In the audience were religious leaders, the Chief Judge, Justice Kazeem Alogba, military chiefs, traditional leaders, community leaders, students, unionists and members of the State Executive Council.

Governor Sanwo-Olu listed his administration’s efforts in security and assured his audience that decisive action would be taken on commercial motorcycles, which speaker after speaker described as a means for criminals. Its operators, they said, are unruly, uncouth, rude and brutal. But those who patronise them and the motorcyclists will not be left in the cold.

The Government, Sanwo-Olu said, will be inaugurating the First and Last Mile buses next week, which will ply the routes the motorcycles are plying. Besides, those who have taken up Okada riding for lack of jobs were advised to grab the opportunities in agriculture, wealth creation, poverty alleviation and other government programmes.

Sanwo-Olu said the meeting was convened in response to the growing threat posed by some lawless activities to the safety and security of lives in the State.

The Governor said the string of lawlessness daily witnessed from the confrontation between commercial motorcyclists and law enforcement agencies required urgent action, stressing that the Government would be announcing reforms in transportation, which will further make changes to the parameters of motorcycle and tricycle operations.

He said: “We have noted with dismay the fact that Okada riders are disregarding and flouting the restrictions we imposed on their activities in certain areas of the metropolis. We have also observed with dismay, the ongoing violent confrontation by commercial motorcyclists against our law enforcement agencies.

“Based on all that we have seen and experienced in the past couple of weeks, as well as the increasing threat posed by the activities of commercial motorcycle operators to the safety and security of lives, we will be announcing further changes to the parameters of motorcycle and tricycle operations in the State in the coming days. No society can make progress amid such haughty display of lawlessness and criminality.”

Sanwo-Olu made it known that the Government would fully implement the State’s Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law of 2019 as amended, which will enable the Government take over and demolish abandoned buildings and construction sites turned into safe haven for hoodlums and miscreants.

He added that the State would strengthen its clean-up exercise of shanties and spots unapproved for settlement, but which had turned to hideouts for criminals.

The State Government, Sanwo-Olu said, would be recruiting more personnel into the Lagos State Neighbourhood Corps (LSNC) to boost intelligence gathering at the community level.

The Governor said the consultative meeting with the stakeholders was necessary to make the State’s security strategy effective and sustainable, noting that all hands must be on deck to work with the Government in collecting, sharing and evaluating credible intelligence that would strengthen security of lives and property in Lagos.

He said: “Lagos must continue to enjoy an atmosphere of peace, safety and all-encompassing security. We are determined to arrest the current security challenges being faced in the State, and we will take every step necessary to deliver our promises on a safe, secure and livable state. We will also continue to communicate regularly with key stakeholders, and all the residents for updates on the progress we are making.”

Appraising the security situation in Lagos, Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu, raised alarm over rising security breaches resulting from the menace of Okada operations in the State.

Between January and early this month, Odumosu disclosed, 320 commercial motorcycles were arrested in 218 cases of criminal incidents in which 78 suspects were detained and 480 ammunition recovered.

In the same period, the Lagos police boss said Okada accounted for 83 per cent of 385 cases of avoidable fatal vehicular accidents in Lagos.

He said: “The menace of Okada operators does not end with avoidable accidents. Crime reports from the field have shown that a greater percentage of crimes, ranging from armed robbery, cultism, kidnapping, murder, burglary and stealing, traffic robbery to carjacking and cash snatching from bank customers, are attributable to armed hoodlums who operate on Okada.

“The nuisance constituted by the Okada operators on Lagos roads has become a danger to law-abiding citizens. Sections of Lagos populace have come to regard commercial motorcycles as a necessary evil, it has become imperative for the Government to take more drastic measures against their notoriety.”

“The State Police Command strongly advises the State Government to immediately review the current guidelines guiding the operation of Okada as a means of commercial transportation in the State and take decisive legal and administrative steps and policies that will curb their traffic, criminal and other nefarious activities in the State.”

There was a panel of discussion chaired by an award-winning Television Show host, Babajide Kolade-Otitoju, in which residents aired their views on the current state of security in Lagos and across the country.

The discussants expressed concerns on the security implications of allowing operations of Okada and demanded a ‘Special Status’ for Lagos as an ethnic melting pot. They also urged the Government to create economic opportunities and vocational engagement for unemployed residents to further lessen crime rates.

Addressing the complaints about criminals hiding in uncompleted buildings and abandoned vehicles within communities, Vice Chairman of Lagos State Community Development Advisory Council, Mr. Rotimi Ayoku-Owolawi said the CDC was ready to support the Government and the police in identifying dark spots and lock-up markets from where criminals launch their nefarious activities.

Commissioner for Information Mr. Gbenga Omotoso described the stakeholders’ engagement as proactive, given a string of security breaches in the country.

He said gone were the days when citizens were at the mercy of pickpockets and amateur criminals; the contemporary crimes, he said, are being committed by armed robbers, bloodsucking bandits and daredevil gangsters.

“We don’t want our Lagos to become an epicentre of evil and criminality,” Omotoso said.

At the end of the stakeholders’ meeting, a 12-point resolution was reached and agreed upon by the participants in public interest.

The resolution reads in part: “Attacks on law enforcement officers and agencies should not be handled with kid gloves. Culprits must be arrested and the full weight of the law brought to bear on such persons.

“Government must take stringent measures to ban the use of Okada as means of transportation in the State; alternatives must be provided by the State Government in Agriculture, Wealth Creation, Women Affairs Empowerment programmes and others.

“Government should take control of abandoned and uncompleted buildings used as hideouts of criminals in the State immediately. The State must take control of abandoned vehicles in its nooks and crannies and seal off houses, hotels and event centres where hoodlums are found to hibernate or where arms are stored.”

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Rivers Crisis: Police Barricade Of LG Secretariats To Continue, Says IGP

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The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kayode Egbetokun has directed the continuation of the police barricade on local government secretariats in Rivers State to prevent a breakdown of law and order.

IGP Egbetokun gave the directive while fielding questions from journalists in Abuja on the sideline of a Conference with Commissioners of Police and other Senior Officers.

He said the police will continue to occupy the secretariats until a court of competent jurisdiction delivers judgment on the local government crisis in Rivers State.

The IGP who also spoke on the controversy over the recruitment of constables and the allegations by the Police Service Commission (PSC) said the management of the Force will not sit idly and watch questionable and untrainable persons recruited into the police.

Egbetokun maintained that the Nigeria Police Force is a specialised institution that is not meant for all Nigerians.

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Eid-el-Kabir: Senate Leader Felicitates Muslim Faithful, Canvasses Patriotism

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Senate Leader, Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele
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The Leader of the Senate, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele on Sunday urged Nigerians to demonstrate more patriotic spirit and keep hope alive amid diverse strategic measures the federal government had been taking to guarantee fiscal and monetary stability.

Bamidele, representing Ekiti Central in the Senate, also pleaded with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) to accept whatever the federal government offered them above N60,000 as the new minimum wage.

He made the call in an Eid-el-Kabir message released by his Directorate of Media and Public Affairs on Saturday, highlighting some achievements of the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR.

While felicitating all Muslim faithful nationwide, Bamidele noted that Nigerians, regardless of religion and tribes, should team up with and rally support for the Tinubu administration to safely steer the ship of the nation into a successful end.

Bamidele further emphasised that no nation could travel the journey of national rebirth alone without the unwavering support of its citizens not minding their political, cultural and social backgrounds and orientations.

He assured that the current administration would leave no stone unturned in alleviating the economic hardship most Nigerians “are currently grappling with and ensure stability in our macroeconomic environment.

“The administration might have taken some measures affecting nearly every citizen. The measures were meant to subject to hardship and penury. Rather they were taken in the best interest of our dear country. But with courage and tenacity in implementation, the measures will soon yield desired outcomes.”

On this note, Bamidele passionately appealed to the NLC and TUC to toe the path of dialogue and peace in the negotiation of a new minimum wage, which the President had promised to duly address without delay and within the capacity of the federal government.

Bamidele said the federal government “has conceded to N60,000, which obviously translates to a 100 percent increase. However, the organised labour turned down the 100 percent increase offer, the highest wage increase since the birth of the Fourth Republic.

“In the interest of public welfare, the federal government has agreed to make more concessions in this respect. As the federal government reveals its new offer, I plead with the organised labour to accept it in the national interest. The economy will not remain in this condition forever. Collectively, we are taking multi-pronged measures to reverse negative economic indicators.”

In the spirit of the season, the Leader further urged all Muslims to emulate love and good neighbourliness exemplified by Prophet Mohammed during his time and how he related very well with people of other faiths and nationalities.

He appealed that the ongoing reengineering initiatives of the Tinubu administration could only yield democratic dividends in an atmosphere devoid of insecurity, but where lives and property are protected.

He said: “Just to mention a few among ongoing projects like the 700 kilometres Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway, the establishment of N50 Billion Pulako Initiative and annual recruitment of 30,000 new police personnel are Key Performance Indicators of this government.

“Only recently, this government declared a state of emergency in agriculture and launched the National Agricultural Development Fund with N100 billion, in addition to the Dry Season Farming Initiative and the Green Imperative Programme to ensure food security across the land.

“All these and other components of the 8-point Renewed Hope Agenda require the patriotic support and prayers for their deliverables to multiply at the doorsteps of Nogerians in the remaining three years of the first term of this government.”

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OSUN GOVERNMENT TO HOST INDUSTRIAL INVESTMENT SUMMIT IN SEPTEMBER, 2024

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Osun State Gov Ademola Adeleke
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The Osun State Government under the leadership of Governor Ademola Jackson Nurudeen Adeleke has concluded arrangements to host an Industrial Investment Summit, come September 2024.

This is contained in a press statement by the Summit Consultant, Prince Rotimi Awelewa, in Osogbo on Thursday.

The Industrial Investment Summit is expected to hold at the Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding, Cultural Centre, Abeere, Osun State.

It will be recalled that the State Governor, represented by the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Rev. Bunmi Jenyo, in May this year inaugurated the Central Working Committee for the Osun Industrial Investment Summit, 2024.

According to the statement, the State will be hosting a 3-day “Industrial Investment Summit 2024 from September 11 to September 13,2024 with the theme ‘Connecting Progress with Purpose’ which will focus on the bid to position Osun State as a major industrial and Commercial hub in Nigeria and West Africa.

The Osun State Investment Summit 2024 is packaged to showcase bankable opportunities and strategic matchmaking platforms, convening stakeholders to Osun Industrial ecosystem to facilitate partnerships and investments in the State.

According to Prince Awelewa, “the principal objective and focus of the Summit is to set an economic policy agenda for accelerated industrial investments in Osun State, Nigeria, underpinned by sustainable and inclusive development”.

“Through focused discussions and deliberations, the Summit seeks to identify and address the key challenges and opportunities for transforming Osun State economy, with a particular emphasis on the role of Agriculture, Industrial Advancement, Manufacturing, Tourism and Capital Investment”, he said.

The Summit is also expected to focus on driving double-digit industrial investment and economic growth across every nook and cranny of Osun State.

“This year’s Summit will create and expand channels for leveraging the qualitative Industrial, Agricultural, Mining, Tourism and ICT potentials of the State, for inclusive and sustainable wealth creation for the people and the nation”, the consultant said.

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