CP Idowu Owohunwa has assumed office as the 38th Commissioner of Police for Lagos State Command.
The new CP was recently posted to the state following the elevation of the immediate past CP, Abiodun Sylvester Alabi to the rank of acting Assistant Inspector General and subsequent redeployment to Zone 2 Headquatres, Onikan, Lagos.
Following the handover, CP Owohunwa pledged to provide requisite leadership to Lagos State Police Command in a manner that will prioritise discipline, training and capacity development, professionalism, and public accountability in a manner that will leave the government and Lagosians in no doubts of any sort of “our renewed commitment to policing them within their expectations.”
The Polce boss said, “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 to for the consequences. An undisciplined officer is a threat not only to the policing family but to the community and the State he serves.
He added that his leadership will be founded firmly and strictly on discipline and professionalism. Speaking to senior Police officers at the Lagos State Police Command Headquarters, Ikeja, CP Idowu charged officers thus, “You should please all return to your jurisdictions and deepen the lecture on this to your men. For as often said, to be forewarned is to be forearmed. 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.”
CP said he will be manifestly hard on criminals and their networks but civil with law abiding citizens and respectful of their rights. He told officers present at the swearing in on Tuesday, that he would make his plan known.
According to him, “In this regard, in due course sets of Actions that will address issues impacting on seamless police-public trust and partnership will be initiated and details of this and the Broad Policing Action Plans for Lagos State will be shared with you. When this is done, my expectation will be for all of you to key into it and adapt your policing approach accordingly.
The new commissioner also reiterated that Lagos is the pride of the country. In his words, “The plans may the lofty. The professional experience to drive it may be rich. The passion to deliver may be strong. But 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. It is my believe that there must come a time in the lives of a people that they should resolve to trust, work together, and march hand in hand to confront our common enemy, the criminal elements that are threatening our common values for peace, safety, and security. The time is now for Lagos and Lagosians and I am determined to provide the police leadership that will accelerate this process.”
“The era of what we often refer to in police parlance as the ‘siege mentality’, the ‘we’ and ‘them’ syndrome in which the citizens and the police see themselves as enemies should now be discarded. Ushered in should be the era of ‘we the People’ and ‘our Police’ against ‘them’ the criminals. We should be reminded that a crack in the relationship between the citizens and their police only serves to advance the interest of the criminals to the disadvantage of the citizens. I promise to change this narrative with the support of all of you seated here and all Lagosians.
“In the interim, we must be reminded that the immediate task we must deal with has to do with the upcoming General Elections as they affect Lagos State. The outgoing Commissioner of Police has briefed me in detail on the strategies and Action Plans for the exercise.
“As we commence the process of giving effect to these plans, I wish to assure Lagosians of our firm resolve and full preparedness of the Lagos State Police Command to ensure that the process is peaceful, secure, and credible. Our operations shall also 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 and distributed to all State Police Commands including Lagos State, the CP said.
He called on all the electorates to cooperate and exercise their franchise within the ambits of the law in the electoral process.
He assured that 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 electorates will be duly protected, and the electoral space fully policed for this purpose”, he assured.
“I will soon embark on duty tour of police Commands and all strategic partners with the aim of galvanizing all spectrum in the State to our broad law enforcement vision and mission. The duty tour to your jurisdictions may be informal, impromptu, or unannounced. I, therefore, advise you to ensure that you provide leadership that will not expose your Area Commands or Division to lapses that could cause you some consequences,” he said.