By Lolo Ayaba
Ahead of the forthcoming general elections, the Lagos State Police Command has ordered Policemen in the state to use proportional and appropriate force to ensure that anybody found with firearms is arrested.
Commissioner of Police, Lagos state Imohimi Edgal gave the order on Tuesday, during a meeting of the inter agency consultative forum on election.
At the meeting which was well attended by heads of all security agencies in the state and the Resident Electoral Commission, Edgal called on Lagosians to desist from engaging in any act that may amount to disrupting a peaceful electoral process.
In his warning, Edgal said the command had put in place security measures to ensure a peaceful process before, during and after the elections. “ We have learnt from what happened the other time during a rally and henceforth anybody going into any political rally will be thoroughly searched.
“ I have ordered my Area Commanders and Divisional Police Offices in the state that henceforth anybody who is found with firearms in any political gathering, neighbourhood or public place with the intent to either kill, maim or disrupt the electoral process, I have ordered my men to use proportional and appropriate force which will include the use of fire arms to ensure that such a person is arrested, demobilised and the fire arms seized.
“ So everybody should be warned not to be used by anybody or politician for thuggery because the consequences will be very great. We have covered the basics, we have made proper arrangements for security not only in the entire state but to cover all the areas whee voting will take place. We expect Lagosians to corporate with us to make the election process free and fair.
“ We have strategised on what we need to do during before and after the elections. We have updated the list of our flashpoints and where we need to deploy more manpower, resources and assets.”
He also revealed that the Police had gotten fillers that some criminally minded persons who had sown police and military uniforms were about to infiltrate the state.
Edgal advised the suspects to jettison the idea as they will be arrested.
“ Lagosians should be very vigilant more than ever before to share intelligence. There are fillers we are still trying to substantiate. The fillers have shown that some persons who have sown police and military uniforms in another area are coming to Lagos. Whoever is contemplating such should jettison it. We have put it in place measure to ensure they are arrested and persecuted.”
On how the command hopes to tackle security in the riverine areas, Edgal said the marine police, navy and locals will be drafted into a security plan.
He said, “ We will strengthen security in all water ways in riverine community in partnership with the local fisherman and hunters for their respective communities and the navy with their gun boats. It is also being replicated on land.”
The State police boss also revealed that over 1000 PVCs had been retrieved from foreigners by men of the Nigerian Immigration Service.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner, Samuel Olumekun appreciated security agencies for being proactive.
On how the agency is preparing for a free and fair elections, he said, “ Tomorrow we will start training the ad-hoc staff. I assure Lagosians we are going to ensure and be ready to conduct a seamless election.