In a bid to combat crime, Lagos
State Government magnanimously donated 100 4-door salon cars, 55 Ford Ranger
pick-ups, 10 Toyota land cruiser pick-ups, 15 BMW power bikes, 100 power bikes,
Isuzu trucks, three helicopters, two gun boats, 15 armoured personnel carriers
to the Rapid Response Squad and the Nigeria Police Force. I must really appreciate
the efforts of the incumbent Governor of Lagos State, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, who
has proven that he is aware of the state of security in Lagos. However, this
donation is one of the endless donations to the Force since they have become
the biggest target for Corporate Social Responsibility.
There are many organizations that
keep donating to the Nigeria Police but we rarely see the job done by these
vehicles. These vehicles are stationed at various parts of the state for some
weeks after it has been given, noticed for a while, thereafter, they varnish
from the streets.
The operations in which these
vehicles operate at optimum level are illegal operations such as roadblocks
when people would be forcefully demanded of cash in a cash-strapped economy. Plying
one-way for no ‘emergency reason’ (law enforcement agency that flouts the law) with
the mindset they are above the law and when they want to chase a vehicle that
is overloaded with goods. I am not encouraging these acts but I want to
challenge the Police Force to see the need to give the citizenry a benefit of
doubt in the area of providing adequate security of Lagosians.
Equally, in this country, the
vehicles used by the Nigeria Police Force are the mostly scruffy; let’s think
of the various vehicles of the police that we see on the streets. One of the many
questions beginning for an answer is, ‘where are the older vehicles donated to RRS
and the Police?’ It is obvious that the rate in which a vehicle deteriorates is
fast but the depreciation depends on the maintenance of these vehicles. This
was stated by the Lt. Gen. Abdurrahman Dambazau, the representative of
President Muhammadu Buahari at the event. Another question to think about is,
‘Who is responsible for the maintenance of these vehicles?
In this country, it is only the
vehicles of the Police Force that cannot be auctioned. This makes it evident
that there is a need to revamp the Police Force in its entirety. The Nigeria
Police need to use these vehicles in a civil way. Many of them are not that reckless
with their personal cars.
In the same vein, there are a lot
of mechanic villages in and around town where these vehicles are abandoned
after the reckless use by the Police Force. This reflects the level to which
government vehicles are ‘nobody’s vehicles’. Many vehicles of government
agencies and parastatals are in the garages of retired civil servants while
those currently in service carry out their official duties on foot.
Equally, there is a need for
strict monitoring of the vehicle and its inhabitants. This will help to curb
the way in which these vehicles are used. Telecommunications Companies can
offer to ‘donate’ as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility car tracking
devices for effective monitoring of these vehicles just like that they do to
their fleet. Fleet monitoring will checkmate the excesses of these officers in
the delivery of their statutory roles.
The Police Force and RRS should
use these vehicles conscientiously so that the citizenry can have a good story
to tell of these donations from taxes levied on Lagosians. Criminals that ought
to be given a hot chase out of the state and this must be done consciously
while taxpayers can relax to enjoy their hard-earned wages without the fear of
criminals either on the road or in the comfort of their houses.