Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode has said most of his biggest achievement in his three years of ruling Lagos revolves around security of lives and property of residents, stating that the fact that the state is now the safest in Africa is exciting.
Ambode said this while speaking at the commissioning of a Forward Operating Base (FOB) of the Nigerian Army in Epe.
He said the combined efforts of security operatives in the state and that of security agencies has proved fruitful in restoring peace and order to the state.
Ambode reminded the people of the days of cultism and other security problems faced by the Ikorodu and Epe areas in the state, and stated that the activities of the criminals had been made history in the state.
“As I mark my own three years in office tomorrow (Tuesday), I can say significantly that if there is anything that I have actually achieved in these three years is the security and safety of lives and property in Lagos State.
“There is no way that could have been possible and that is why I say it quietly and openly if not for the support and cooperation of all the security agencies and most significantly the efforts of the Nigerian Army which is actually hidden underground but visibly seen by everything that is going on here,” he said.
He recalled that the first few days in office, he targeted the issue of kidnappings and other nefarious activities in the state, for which a military operation tagged “Operation Awatse.” was set up.
“At the beginning, the issue of kidnapping and cultism was actually in this eastern axis between Epe and Ikorodu but with the efforts that we have seen and visible to all of us, it has become a thing of the past and we are very grateful to the Nigerian Army.
“I want to quickly recollect that my first task was the issue of kidnapping that was so notorious in area of Ishawo in Ikorodu and there and then, we had the support of the Nigerian Army to set up a small base and we had to also take over property of some of those militants to accommodate the Military Base,” he recalled.
He alleged that the rate of crime had dropped in the state.
“I must say the last three years have been very peaceful and everybody would agree that crime rate has reduced in Lagos. We need to sustain it because at the end of the day that is what really grows our GDP and that is what makes other people to want to come to Lagos and I can clearly and openly declare that Lagos right now is the safest city across Africa,” the Governor said.
“I want to openly say I will support the second FOB that is coming up in Ikorodu and if there is any need for us to give further support for gunboat engines or infrastructure, you can count on us that we would support anything that will keep the lives and property of our people safe at all times.
“Our support for Operation Awatse is continual and we would support every other thing that is necessary and also beyond this, we would also support the welfare of all the security agencies that are operating in Lagos so that we can continue to have peace.
“What we are seeing is a new strategy to keep our outer spaces safer than ever before and we need the Military presence in Ikorodu, in Epe and all the outer spaces so that we can go away from the central protection and also make every other place in Lagos livable and also economically viable,” the Governor said.
Governor Ambode also commended the new initiative by the Nigerian Army to promote human security alongside national security, saying the State Government was solidly behind any initiative aimed at ensuring unity of the country.