Kunle Adelabu & Mariam Akinloye
-Commends IDPIL initiative, directs Area Command to work with its operatives
The Commissioner of Police, Lagos Police Command, CP Idowu Owohunwa, has assured the royal fathers and people of Ikorodu and indeed, Nigerians, that the Command will get to the bottom of the circumstances surrounding the death of the Afrobeat star, Ilerioluwa Aloba (Mohbad), whose death has sparked protests across the country since he died a week ago.
CP Owohunwa, who paid a courtesy call to the Ayangbure of Ikorodu, His Royal Majesty, Oba Kabir Adewale Shotobi, at his palace in Ikorodu, on Thursday, also said that investigation into the controversial death of Mohabd, 27, has begun.
At the meeting which had the Ranodu of lmota, His Royal Majesty, Oba Ajibade Bakare Agoro, the Adeboruwa of Igbogbo, His Royal Majesty, Oba Semiudeen Orimadegun Kasali, the Obateru of Egbin, His Royal Majesty, Oba Akeem Oyebo, and other traditional rulers, traditional chiefs and eminent personalities in Ikorodu in attendance, the Lagos CP also assured that the police is engaging new strategies in policing.
The CP, who said that the visit was a form of a homecoming for him, added that he came to pay homage as well as receive advice and royal blessings of the Ayangbure of Ikorodu, and other royal fathers in the Division.
“I have come to seek your blessing, pay royal homage and most importantly, seek your guidance in other to perfect my leadership in Lagos State.
“Secondly, and unfortunately, I came at a time we had unfortunate incident. The incident involving the rising super star, Mohbad. He was from here; a proud son of Ikorodu. Well, while we may hold on to faith to say, perhaps, the supreme God that giveth him to this community has also decided in His own way, even in his imperfection, to take him off, one thing is certain, lkorodu has lost a great gem in Mohbad”, CP Owohunwa asserted.
“I have come on behalf of the Lagos State Police Command, to convey my condolence to the royal majesties, his family and the entire Ikorodu community.
“In so doing, is to also assure Your Majesties, the Ikorodu community and indeed, the entire country, that I have made a promise, that under my watch, we will get to the depth of this case; clear all doubts, and bring any element and I am saying it with emphasis and in my honour, any element involved remotely, or directly in the unfortunate incident, to justice”, the Lagos CP pledged.
“The process has started, and you can be confident that I will guide it to conclusive end with the support and encouragement of Your Majesties.
Informing the royal majesties and Ikorodu, that the police will be involving new strategies in policing, CP Owohunwa also said that he will be working on establishing Police Marine Base and more police outposts in Ikorodu, among others.
“Thirdly, I actually came to also use this opportunity to interact with my officers, discuss the general security situation in and around Ikorodu, involves new strategies, identify what their challenges, and attend to those within my power to solve”, he said.
“I have made commitment in solving them as immediate as possible, and those that I have to escalate, I have also told them the path ways I will use to escalate them.
“Principally, they have requested, because I have interacted with some stakeholders and the general outcome is that, I should push for the establishment of a Police Marine Base in Ikorodu, and I have promised that, with the goodwill that I enjoy within the policing system.
“I will make sure that is given effect to within Ikorodu, and as soon as I get back to the office, I will commence the process.
“They also raised the issue of having more Police Outposts. We will also work around that. They raised the issue of Area Command building, and I intend to escalate that to the Executive Governor.
“For the other issues bothering on crimes, we are involving new strategies. it is an open -ended strategy that will be firmed up based on the outcome on the guidance I also received in the course of my interaction with Your Majesties”, CP Owohunwa said.
Commending Ikorodu for the Ikorodu Division Peace Initiative Limited, established to assist the police in curbing crime, CP Owohunwa commended the initiative and said that it is the way society are being policed in modern times, and directed the Area Commander and Divisional Police Officers in the Division, to establish relationship with the IDPIL operatives.
“But I noticed something that is very unique to me and I want to go deeper into it. The establishment of the IDPIL (Ikorodu Division Peace Initiative Limited). That is the way policing should go. In my interaction with my officers, I said that there is no police force anywhere in this world, no matter how well trained, how well resourced, how well paid, can excel without the buy -in of the citizens they served”, he said.
“Policing is a grassroots thing and if the people do not own it, there is no way we can succeed. So, the model that Ikorodu has come up with now, is the true reflection of what policing should be.
“The question I will have to ask my officers is, how much they leverage on this framework to perfect the attainment of their mandate? If they have not been working closely with this team, I will charge them that from now on, to establish that direct relationship with them, and see them as their eyes, ears and foot soldiers deep in places that they do not links with”, CP Owohunwa directed.
“Policing is based on trust. This is part of the system. They are children of Ikorodu, and we cannot love Ikorodu more than them, neither can we know Ikorodu more than them. We can only leverage on that system to perfect our operations.
“I encourage you all; Area Commander, if you have not been leveraging on that, I expect that as soon as we leave, you invite them and start integrating them into your policing functions in Ikorodu, and give them all the necessary support”, he emphasized.
“I want to thank Your Majesties for this honour. It is the beginning of the journey that you and l want to leverage on the experience of today”.
Oba Shotobi, in his royal remarks, assured CP of the support and blessings of the royal fathers in Ikorodu, and charged police officers under the Lagos Command, to be loyal to the CP.
“You are very important to us and that is why all the traditional rulers in Ikorodu Division, are gathered here today to give you royal welcome and blessings, and we will give you our blessings”, the royal father said.
“I welcome all the senior officers present, and I can see that you have established good relationship with the CP. I pleaded that you work in good spirit with him and serve him diligently because you too will rise to the top and have others to serve you.
“Always call his attention to your observations, and I know that he is a good listener who will listen to you”.
The Ayangbure of Ikorodu, who narrated how the initial vigilance group was formed to tackle security challenges in Ikorodu, and the present local security system under the IDPIL, also enumerated the challenges, especially in the area of cooperation from the police.
“I could remember when Ikorodu was in dilemma and when people usually lock up their shops on the Ayangbure road and other areas in Ikorodu by 4.00pm, because of insecurity. We had to establish Onyabo (a local vigilance outfit) and collaborated with the police authority”, Oba Shotobi said.
“The vigilance team had good rapport and cooperation with the police, and I was happy with the situation until we got a letter from Abuja that we were taking laws into our hands. This led to the invitation of our vigilance members and it took my interventions for everything to calm down.
“Since then, the police withdrew their support for our vigilance team because of the signal. There was an incident that a DPO was indicted and we also had to intervened. That was the situation and the reason subsequent police teams don’t want to attach with our vigilance team”.
While informing the CP about the formation of the IDPIL, Oba Shotobi stated that its operatives are well trained and that they are operating within the law and in partnership with the police.
“But since IDPIL has been in existence and operating within the legal framework and little cooperation, the situation has been changing”, Kabiyesi said.
“The local vigilance group has no power to prosecute or take suspect to court. It is the police that have the power. They are to handover any suspect to the police and we cannot do otherwise.
“Unfortunately, we had situation when our vigilance team would arrest suspects and such is released within three days and same suspect would come back into the street to attack those that arrested him.
“We want synergy between the local vigilance team and the police. Our vigilance operatives were trained at Police College, Ikeja. They were well trained, and we are pleased with the initiative that we established”, Oba Shotobi requested of the CP Owohunwa.
Oba Shotobi also explained efforts of the Division, through the IDPIL, to promote education by giving scholarship and establishing a Technical College, to get youths engaged, to prevent them from getting involved in crime.
Ayangbure also informed the CP that IDPIL is also involved in the health sector.
“We have equally extended its operation to education by giving out scholarships to brilliant students with N20million endowment fund which has been increased to N30milion.
Oba Ajibade Bakare Agoro charged the CP on timely implementation of his policies that he presented to them.
“We want positive response on all that you have said by the end of this month. We want you to be up and doing”, Ranodu charged.
“What we have had about your background is what is making us to repose our belief in you, and have the confidence that you are a very effective police officer, and we are expecting from now that all the items that you mentioned would be implemented in the next 30 days.
“All your programmes that you want to execute are same with what we have in mind to discuss with you. We are expecting your actions on them. Thank you very much for coming”, the royal father said.
Adeboruwa of Igbogbo, Oba Semiudeen Kasali, while commending the CP for his professionalism and candour, also thanked him for the visit.
He charged the CP on effective implementation of the policies he has enumerated and communication on cases that have challenged their domains.
“I give God the glory for what you have demonstrated before the whole world today, and I want to congratulate you for that. You have said many things and we know that there are issues concerning security.
“We want effective implementation of all that you have said, and my observations on issues that have happened in our domains because our people are still asking us on there outcomes. We have had series of violence activities. We had issue of Badoo, cultism, but we are not getting feedback on what the police had done about them, and our people and press men are asking us questions.
“I know that in the 60s and early 70s, when the police unravel a big case, they usually let the whole world knows about it. I want to demand that we need to be getting feedbacks on issues. This will not be our last engagement”.