Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State says the security challenges facing Nigeria are surmountable with the adoption of right strategies and strong synergy between security agencies and members of the public.
Ambode, represented by his Deputy, Dr Idiat Adebule, said this at a Public Lecture on Security organised by the Nigeria Police Force in Lagos on Friday.
The public lecture had the theme “Providing Strategic Solutions to Emergent Security Challenges: The Essentials of Synergy Among Security Agencies and the Civil Populace”.
Ambode said that the nature and sophistication of crime and criminal activities changes in direct proportion to human advancement.
According to him, developing effective solution to emerging security challenges should take into consideration the deployment of appropriate technology and strengthening bond with people through community policing.
“Although the issue of State Police has not gained the desired consensus, I believe that it is the panacea for effective policing that is community based.
“It is a common knowledge that the numerical strength of the Nigeria Police as at today falls short of the minimum requirement relative to our population.
“For instance, Lagos State, with a population of over 22 million, has less than 30, 000 police officers.
“This shortfall can be bridged to some extent with the deployment of appropriate technology and close relationship between the people and this police.” he said.
Ambode commended the police for their efforts in combating crime across the country, promising that the state government would continue to partner the force to ensure security of lives and property in Nigeria.
In his lecture, a Professor of Criminology, Etannibi Alemika, said partnership between the citizens and security agencies, especially the police, was a precondition for effective crime control and efficient criminal justice system.
According to him, efforts of the police will be ineffective if they lack the support of the public.
Alemika also identified intelligence, crime analysis, adequate funding, human resources development and management of the police force as factors that could ensure effective policing and security.
He urged government at all levels to pay serious attention to policies that could curb corruption, promote good governance and enhance economic growth.
“Economic growth will distribute equity and social services which will contribute to the prevention and control of crime and insecurity in the country, ” Alemika said.
In an address, the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, said that the efforts of the police in protecting lives and property in Nigeria should be a major concern to all.
Idris said since his assumption of office, strategies of crime fighting and detection had recorded success based on the number of kidnappers and armed robbery suspects arrested and killed.
“The police has been recording successes, but they cannot do it alone; which is why we are having this lecture.
“There has to be synergy among security agencies and the civilian populace to effectively deal with the challenges of security in the country.
“The police need the collaboration of the communities in terms of information, intelligence and other support to fight crime and criminality.
“We need the support of all Nigerians, more funding, manpower, technological and scientific support, as well as welfare and motivation for police officers to win the security challenges confronting the country,” he said.