Residents of Rashidi, Prince Fadina,
Babatunde, Aperi, Silver, Isikalu, Lawani, Oyeloye Ibrahimoh, Layode, Apena and its environs in Tolu area of Ajeromi/Ifelodun Local Government in Apapa area of Lagos State met with Divisional Police Officer and his team on Tuesday May 10, 2022 to discuss ways of ensuring adequate security in the area.
The meeting, which held in the chapel located inside Tolu Divisional Police Station, Ajegunle, was necessitated by the need to put an end to what they described as extortion and misleading information that could jeopardize effort and good work put in place by the DPO of the area, which could demoralized the officers as well.
Chairman of Rashidi Street Residents Association, Mr. Emmanuel Nwosudike, who spoke on behalf of the landlords and stakeholders, said that there had been series of unrest in the past but it took the effort of officers most especially the DPO, CSP Akan Etuk in conjuction
Tolu DIVISIONAl COMMUNITY POLICING SAFETY PARTNERSHIP to restore the area to peaceful atmosphere it enjoy now.
Speaking about the publication, the chairman stated that are effort are being make by unscrupulous person to tarnish the effort of the man and his officers.
Nwosudike said that the area is enjoying relatively peaceful compared to what was obtainable in the past, he said this is due to the collaboration between the stakeholders and the police in the area.
“We have enjoyed relatively peaceful here because our DPO has been very responsive each time he is called upon.
Speaking on behalf of the entertainers, a human rights activist, popularly known as AJ Dagga Tolar, frowned at the attitude of some of the officers toward entertainers in the area.
“Some of us are arrested and we have to part with something before we are released. This does not augur well at all.
“We all know that the condition under which police officers in Nigeria operate is not the best compared to that of their counterparts in other parts of the world.
“When our police officers go abroad to perform police duties, they return to the country with medals based on the exemplary character they display there and this is a proof that our police officers would do well if they are given a better opportunity,” he said.
According to AJ, the living condition of Nigerian police officers is so glaring, it is not hidden to anyone.
He said that it’s surprising that police officers in Nigeria use their money to buy their official shoes, uniforms, torch light, and a lot of things they use for their work.
“We on this side are not the ones responsible for this, even majority of us don’t have jobs. Also, many of us, who work in this country cater for three, four or five people who don’t have anything to do.
“So, in a situation where you are told that your brother has been arrested by the police, when in actual fact, he has not committed any offence, what would you do.
“We appeal to our senior officers to see to this. We know that many of the senior officers are not involved in extorting residents unlike some junior officers,” he said.
Dagga Tolar said that many police officers go out, not because they wanted to protect the people, but because they want to make extra money or income.
While saying that it is not a crime if people make money legitimately, but that when the extra income is to extort other people who don’t have, or prevent other people from executing or perform their legitimate or legal functions, then it becomes a problem.
He said; “above all, we are happy that this gathering came to being. We are extremely joyous that the DPO has promised that our police officers must have learnt from #EndSars event that took place sometime ago.
“They should continue to learn and this learning should be a continuous process for our “ogas” and for all us on the side.
“Then, we need to have one on one interactive sessions with our officers regularly so that we will know them in this station.”
Reacting, the DPO of the Division, CSP Akan Etuk said, ‘I enjoy my work now because the police and members of the community enjoy good working relationship.
“The co-existence we enjoy now is as a result of co-operation between us and the stakeholders.”
Etuk stated that if the residents see any unpalatable activity in the area they should bring it to his attention or call his phone number, adding that the doors of his office are open always.
The DPO thanked the stakeholders and entertainers for finding time to gather for the meeting.
“You can’t get it all, but at the end of the day, many businesses in Ajegunle are tied to entertainment such as hotels, bars, market women, okada riders, and everything you want in a society is here in Ajegunle,” he said.
He explained that he had to create an enabling environment, where residents could go out in the morning and go back in the evening and they should not be afraid of any possible attack, especially robbery.
He said that naturally if one mentions Ajegunle, the response he will receive is quite different from when he mentions any other part of Lagos State.
CSP Akan reiterated IGP Baba Aikali’s interest in community policing as the way to go.
He then told the stakeholders in the community and the entertainers not to hesitate in calling him whenever there is any crime in the area.
Meanwhile, according to Oluwatobi Ibrahim, who’s Chairman, Wazobia Social Club of Nigeria, this is time for other streets chairmen and stakeholders, including hoteliers to join the platform in order to resolve any present issue or complaits that could arise in the future, Oluwatobi urged others to join the platform through the number below.
DPO could be reached on +234 803 444 8617