20th January, 2023
The task of ensuring peace and safety of Lagos State is one that calls for collaborative efforts between the youth and Police, says Olusegun Dawodu, Commissioner for Youth and Social Development.
Dawodu spoke at the grand finale of the Police Youth Dialogue organized by the Ministry on Friday at the Air Force Officers’ Mess, Kofo Abayomi, Victoria Island, Lagos.
In his words: “This 2nd Edition of Police Youth Dialogue planned to mend, build trust, heal and strengthen the relationship between law enforcement personnel and young people in the State. It is also designed as a tangible tool to bring attention to issues causing tension between law enforcement officers and the youth, thereby building a model towards restorative justice rather than punitive discipline.”
“This programme is to show our commitment to a lawful, peaceful and safe Lagos as well as reaffirming the general saying that “Police is your Friend ” both in theory and most especially in practice.”
On her part, Permanent Secretary, Toyin Oke-Osanyintolu said: “the dialogue is an intellectual gathering of young leaders in Lagos State. A platform where burning issues are discussed extensively in order to bridge communication gap between the Lagos State Police Command and the youth resident in the State.”
Pointing out the gains of the Dialogue hitherto, Oke-Osanyintolu said it has helped to clarify the roles and functions of different security agencies within the State; Understand civil rights and obligations in Lagos in supporting the State Police Command and other security agencies; discuss strategies to combat the high rate of insecurity within the State; and proffer ways to actively involve youths resident in Lagos State for better community policing and security information management.
Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alabi, represented by the State Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, said the misunderstanding between the Police and youth was as a result of impatience between the former and the latter which could be resolved through dialogue.
Alabi pledged the full support of the Nigeria Police Force to the programme he described as “a laudable one.”
Resident Electoral Commissioner, Lagos State, Segun Agbaje, represented by Adenike Datashe, in his presentation on “The Role of the Youth in Ensuring a Violence-Free 2023 Elections: Peaceful Voting Culture” enlightened the youths on the dos and don’ts of credible elections as well as their role in it.
Similarly, in his keynote presentation on “The Police, Youth and the Law: Strategic Collaboration for a Safer Lagos,” Director General, Nigerian American Chamber of Commerce, Gbenga Adebija, stressed the need for the State to support the police-community relations system.
He recommended that the state government should put in place Police Appreciation Day while other states should emulate the Lagos’ model.
Consular General, Spanish Embassy, Daniel Lasada Miller, commended Lagos State for the initiative which he described as “very timely” considering the electioneering period.
Miller, noting the role of youth in the prevention and resolution of crisis, stated that all hands must be on deck in encouraging the youth to ensure a safer society.
Chairman, National Youth Council of Nigeria (Lagos State Chapter), Lekan Biliaminu Oba and Lagos State Youth Ambassador, Zainab Ayomikun Aderounmu commended the Lagos State Government for the initiative which they said would help bridge the communication gap between the youth and the police in the State.