The new Commissioner of Police in charge of Lagos Command, CP Idowu Owohunwa, has assured residents of the state that the elections will be peaceful, secure and credible.
Owohunwa gave the assurance on Tuesday in Lagos while taking over the leadership of the command from his predecessor, Acting AIG Abiodun Alabi at the state command headquarters, Ikeja.
He said that their operations shall be conducted within the dictates of the Revised Code of Conduct for Police Officers on Election Security Duty, which was recently developed by the Inspector General of Police.
“I, however, call on the electorate to cooperate with us and exercise their franchise within the ambit of the law in the electoral process.
“The Command is committed to identifying, isolating and dealing decisively with any person or group that intends to put our resolve to ensure peace within the electoral process to test.
“In this regard, while electoral adversaries will be brought to justice in the swiftest manner, peace-loving and law-abiding electorate will be duly protected and the electoral space fully policed for this purpose,” he said.
On criminal elements in the state, Owohunwa promised that under his watch, the command would be hard on criminals and their networks.
He said he would be civil with law-abiding citizens and respectful of their rights.
“This is Lagos. This is the pride of the country.
“Without the buy-in of strategic stakeholders and all spectrum of Lagosians, the journey to policing excellence may be rough and bumpy. In this process, therefore, I solicit the support, guidance, and trust of all Lagosians.
“I will remain open to constructive criticisms, inputs, pieces of advice and above all, critical criminal information that will aid our proactive actions in crime management,” he said.
Owohunwa, therefore, warned his officers and men against unprofessional conduct, stressing that the bond with Lagosians was to keep them safe and secure.
He promised to work assiduously to provide the requisite leadership to Lagos command in a manner that would prioritise discipline, training, capacity development, professionalism and public accountability.
“I promise that under my watch, I will be hard on deviants within the fold of the State Police Command who continually bring us into disrepute and pitch us against the citizens we are paid to serve and protect.
“Such elements are encouraged to embrace the tenets of self-discipline in the common good or be ready for the consequences.
“An undisciplined officer is a threat not only to the policing family but to the community and the state he serves. Hence, my leadership will be founded firmly and strictly on discipline and professionalism,” he said.
The new CP requested the officers and men to return to their jurisdiction and deepen the lecture on this to their men at the Area, Division and Unit levels.
“So let me sound this warning as loudly and clearly as possible. If you perform your duties within acceptable ethical and professional standards, you shall have my back in the line of your duties.
“But if you exceed the permissible ethical and professional bounds, you shall be dealt with firmly. Let no officer be in doubt on this in relation to my leadership,” he warned.
The police boss also emphasised operational efficiency and strong inter-agency synergy with the Military detachments and other State and Federal Law enforcement and public safety agencies in the state.
He commended his predecessor, Acting AIG Abiodun Alabi for providing the requisite leadership which stabilised the internal security space in Lagos State.
Earlier, before the handing over of the command to Owohunwa, Alabi said that there was no major security challenge when he took over the command in 2022.
Alabi said that they were able to check all crimes and criminality due to the commitment and dedication to the duty of officers and men of the command while providing strategic leadership.
He commended the support of the state government through the Lagos State Security Trust Fund and the media for their unbiased reportage and synergy he enjoyed with sister security agencies.
Alabi was appointed by I-G Alkali Baba as Acting Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) Zone 2 Headquarters, Lagos on Thursday