My directive to shoot criminals with AK-47 stands – Buhari

Victor Ayeni

11 June 2021

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The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Thursday declared his support for the Nigeria Police Force and expressed his intolerance for all criminal activities in Lagos State and the entire country.

Buhari spoke at the Police College, Ikeja, during the inauguration of security vehicles and crime-fighting equipment bought by the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for the Lagos State Police Command.

Buhari said, “We will deal firmly and decisively against any and all persons fomenting or carrying out attacks on our police force or other security personnel.  Let me also use this opportunity to reiterate that my directive to security agencies to shoot any person or persons found illegally with AK-47 and any other assault weapons remains in place.”

Buhari commended Sanwo-Olu for the security equipment, noting that it was a move against the setback posed by the wave of #EndSARS protests in the state, which would boost policemen’s morale.

“There is no doubt that these equipment being handed over today will go a long way in boosting the morale of the police and further enhance their capacity to fight crime and combat criminality.

“This is even more touching in the light of the unwarranted violence that ensued in the wave of the #EndSARS protests last October which saw the security outfits of Lagos State being severely damaged. It is commendable that Lagos State, the centre of excellence, has shown a truly resilient image in the face of the massive destruction suffered last year October.

“You did not allow yourselves to be deterred by the setback; instead you have bounced back and are now rebuilding the confidence of residents and investors in the state. I acknowledge the initiative taken to kick start the rebuilding process through the establishment of the Lagos State Security Trust Fund and through other notable efforts by the state. I enjoin other state governors to emulate your bold, proactive and resourceful initiatives.

Buhari also expressed his commitment to police reforms and charged the Inspector General of Police to work towards security across the country.

“The Federal Government takes very seriously our constitution of oath to secure the lives and properties of the Nigerian people. You are all aware of the fact that life and security are the necessary foundations for business and investment to thrive. This is why we have demonstrated and continue to demonstrate our commitment to consolidate police reform in Nigeria

“I commend the Inspector General of Police and the entire force for their recent efforts to restore peace to troubled parts of the country. I charge the IGP to leave no stone unturned in the rebuilding of the country, especially in light of the mindless violence associated with the End SARS protests and the recent burning of police station across the country,” he said.

In his speech, Sanwo-Olu warned criminals in Lagos State that they would be caught and dealt with to the full extent of the law.

He said the investment in the security gadgets was timely, given the setback recorded in security operations occasioned by the coordinated violence that followed the #EndSARS protests.

He said, “No society can survive without a motivated and well-equipped police. Hoodlums and criminals know this; hence the relentless attacks on police installations nationwide. It is our responsibility as government to ensure that criminals’ nefarious aims are not achieved. They seek to demoralise and destabilise the police and other law enforcement agents, but we will continue to boldly proclaim, ‘Not on our watch!

The governor said the state procured “150 double-cabin vehicles, 30 saloon patrol vehicles, 1,000 bullet proof vests, ballistic helmets, hand-held police walkie-talkie and radio, 200 security patrol bikes; five armoured personnel carriers;  four high capacity troop carriers; two anti-riot water cannon and also other command furniture and accessories that will be used in the office for our security operatives.”

“Let me also use this opportunity to sound a note of warning to all criminals who are operating in Lagos State or planning to operate here. All armed robbers, whatever name you are called, kidnappers, cultists, traffic robbers, bandits, and other criminals. We will leave no stone unturned in making Lagos inhospitable for you. We will find you, we will look for you, wherever you may be lurking. We will bring you down, with the full wrath of the law on you,” he added.

The governor said the state government had started the phased rollout of security cameras across the metropolis, stating that the objective was to install the 2,000 surveillance cameras connected to fibre optic network.

The IGP commended the Lagos State Government for the gesture, describing Sanwo-Olu as “a security conscious governor.”

The police boss said the donation was a game changer in strengthening of security in the South-West region.

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