By;Raymond Tedunjaye, Lagos.
A prominent Lagos traditional ruler Oba Samuel Alamu Oloyede, Onikosi of Ikosi- Ketu Kingdom and the Commander of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria (VGN) Lagos Command, Otunba James Udoma have urged Governor Akinwummi Ambode to provide the group with basic logistics support in order to boost the security of lives and property in the state.
They were of the strong opinion that the group can fill the gap created by shortage of man power in the Police Force in the area of combating crime in the state, if it is adequately supported by the state government.
The duo made the call at the passing out ceremony of 5-days Community Policing & Basic Intelligence Training of the VGN, offered by instructors at the Police College, Ikeja for 700 operatives.
In his remark at the occasion, the monarch lamented that the VGN has not been given adequate recognition by both government and members of the public inspite its tremendous assistance to the Police in curbing crime in the state.
Represented by Chief Lemmy Akinyemi, the traditional ruler asserted that operatives of the group can perform better if there was logistics support from the state government, imploring Governor Ambode to urgently come to their aid.
According to Oba Oloyede, the rate of criminal activities have reduced by 50 per cent since the VGN started operations in his domain, by complimenting the efforts of the Police.
He said “The VGN is doing exceptional good job, since your men started working with us, crime has reduced by 50% in our area. I hereby urge Governor Ambode to assist the VGN because they are assisting the Police tremendously in the fight against crime. It is also sad that the VGN is not recognised by the public for the good job it does”.
In his welcome address earlier, VGN Commander, Otunba Udoma identified the basic logistics support required from the state government to include patrol vehicles, training facilities and other necessary basic equipment that will enhance the security of the state.
“The Lagos command of the VGN has been providing security at the community level in all the nooks and crannies of Lagos State. However, the VGN lacks any sort of support from the government of Lagos State. So, Sir, we are using this medium to appeal specially to the governor and government of Lagos State to provide basic logistics support such as vehicles, training facilities and other necessary basic equipment that will enhance the security of Lagos state”, the VGN Commander appealed.
With completion of the training in community policing and basic intelligence, Udoma asserted that it operatives are now adequately equipped for the task of curbing crime, saying what remains is support from the state government.
He explained that the main duty of the VGN is to assist the Police and other security agencies in curbing crime at the grassroot, stressing that the philosophy of VGN is community policing.
“The VGN ideology presents the government and the community with the opportunity to adequately police the communities through community policing, which is the most modern policing techniques that nips crimes in the bud, unlike the traditional policing method that responds after crime has been committed”, Otunba Udoma explained.
The VGN Commander also informed that the 5-days training programme came to being due to the synergy between the headquarters of the VGN and office of the Inspector General of Police, adding that the group was registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission in 1999 as a non- governmental organisation in the area of public security.