Lagos State governor, Babatunde Fashola has handed over the new Area 'C' Surulere police command headquarters to the state police commissioner, Mr. Cornelius Aderanti, yesterday.
Dedicates building in honour of First indigenous Commandant of Nigeria Police College, former Federal Commissioner, Kafaru Oluwole Tinubu.
As DIG Tsafe, Lagos CP, Aderanti commend LASG for building a world class facility for the Police.
Nine years after it was razed during a clash between soldiers and Policemen, Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, SAN on Tuesday formally handed over the new Area C Police Command Complex, stressing the need for government at the center to pay more attention to law enforcement agents, if the nation is serious about protecting democracy and developing business.
Renaming the ultra modern building, Kafaru Oluwole Tinubu House in honour of the first indigenous Commandant of the Nigeria Police College, Fashola who spoke at the Western Avenue location of the new Area Command building that replaced the one that was gutted by fire in October 2005, added that it is only in a secure environment that investment will settle and also thrive.
"I hope that as the Inspector General had said, we should be reminded that this is the responsibility of the Federal Government.
I believe that our law enforcement deserve more than we have given them in a country that produces oil, in a country that has 170 million people that has businesses and that has natural resources".
The Governor noted that if the present administration in the State had continued to maintain that the issue of Police was a responsibility for the Federal Government and not the State, the building would still have remained the way it was when it was gutted by fire.
He explained that very close by to the Area Command office are the Quarters, some of which are in some state of structural dysfunction and that he has already written to bring attention to this situation because he hopes that somebody will rise to discharge the responsibility so that those buildings do not collapse.
"We need to have those building evacuated, their structural integrity is no longer reliable and I hope that somebody would act so that we do not lose lives but that is the responsibility that I think the Federal Government would hopefully take on and compliment what we are doing here by building the Quarters for the officials so that they can live in better Quarters", he said.
While explaining the rationale behind the design of the new Police Area Command Office, the Governor said what was there before were bequeathed by the colonial government adding that the colonial masters have been slowly and consistently removing them in their own country.
"You would not find any of those ancient police formations that we still carry anywhere in Britain. They had them, it was their best at that time and they brought it here, Over 50 years after they left, we have not changed them. This is what we sought to do, that we can rebuild, we can progress and we can develop", he said.
The Governor who recalled that he has had cause to handle legal cases for clients in the past at the Area C Command, said it has now been designed bearing in mind that it is serving as both an Area Command and a Divisional Police Office.
Listing the additional features that have been provided in the new building, the Governor said there are provisions for male and female cells as well as a data room where suspects are put on the wall for their heights to be measured and photographs taken.
"All of the machines that will be used for that have not only been installed here they are being installed in all the Divisional Police Offices across Lagos. It is a major but very silent revolution that is going on in our State Command and we will get there", the Governor added.
Fashola noted that when the journey started there were only eight area commands in the State but with the State's application and persistence coupled with a growing population , five additional area commands were approved by the immediate past Inspector General of Police bringing the number to 13.
He listed the location of the new Area commands as Area J Elemoro in Ibeju Lekki, Area K in Morogbo, Badagry, Area L in Ilashe in Amuwo Odofin, Area M in Idimu, Alimosho and Area N in Ijede, Ikorodu for Lagos, adding that what this means is that more of the facilities at the Area C would also be provided at those commands too.
He reiterated that despite the resource constraints, the State Government has embarked on construction of three of those area commands, in Elemoro, Idimu and Ilashe and work has gone on substantially on them and the administration would be handing them over very soon.
He, however, underscored the apparent unfairness in the situation in which Lagos State has found itself declaring: "Let me emphasize, this is Federal Government work, this is what they collect 52 percent of Nigeria's resources for while 36 States Governors share 26 percent of Nigeria's resources and we can still do this.
Where is the money going?", he asked.
The Governor said the State has sought to bring the Police closer to her increasing population by building also new Police Stations in Denton, Orile Iganmu, in Ladugboye, Ikorodu, in Ketu Ereyun, in Ketu Epe, in Makoko and in Ebute Ero just as it is also building Police posts in many parts of the State.
He hinted of plans by the State Government to provide specially designed Squad Cars that would serve as patrol vehicles distinct from the Hilux patrol vehicles currently being used and would be fitted with on board digital equipments for every Divisional Police headquarters in the state.
He added that a choice has already been made on the vehicle the government wants and is being designed, adding that once that design is completed, government would make procurement in the next budgetary year and will hand them over.
Emphasizing the importance of their role In the society, the Governor urged residents to always connect with the members of the Police Force in their neighbourhoods, especially at festive periods in a gesture of goodwill that would help them connect better with the society.
In his message of goodwill, the Inspector General of Police who was represented by Deputy Inspector General, Logistics and Supply, Mamman Tsafe reiterated an earlier statement that if Nigeria could boast of more of the types of Governor Fashola, the business of security would have been more effective in Nigeria.
Noting that the building being handed over ranks among the best Police facilities he had seen in various parts of the world to which he has travelled, DIG Tsafe charged the officers and men to draw inspiration from the depth of the gesture of the new office and other forms of support from the State Government to improve their performance.
He also appealed to the State Governor that whilst it deeply appreciates the several gestures of the state, the Police would appreciate his intervention in the Police Barracks in Surulere.
The State Police Commissioner, Mr Kayode Aderanti in his address described the new structure as being of international standard and one that should be a great motivation for the officers and men of the Lagos Police Command.
He thanked the Governor for deeming it fit to construct the edifice which would without doubt make the job of the personnel who will be privileged to work there easier.
He urged the Governor to continue with the good job that he has started with the Area C so that such a structure can be duplicated across all the Area Commands across the state.
In his welcome address, the Executive Secretary of the Lagos State Security Trust Fund, Mr Fola Arthur- Worrey said no Government in the recent history has done as much to support the institution of Law and order on a continuous and broad dimensions as the Lagos State Government under the leadership of Governor Fashola.
He described an Area Command as a critical component of the Police structure just as it is the heartbeat of the area it covers.