Ogun Govt. Asks Julius Berger To Suspend Work During Traffic Hours

Ogun State, Road Construction, Julius Berger, Lagos-Ibadan expresswayThe Ogun State government has directed Julius Berger Plc to suspend the ongoing reconstruction work on the busy Lagos-Ibadan expressway during the peak traffic hours.

The government stated that with effect from Monday, August 8, the construction company should not work on the highway from 6:00am to 10:00am and between 4:00pm and 10:00pm.

The government encouraged the contractor to work full blast between 10:00am and 4:00pm and also during the night after 10pm.

The State government also expressed deep concern about the hardship being faced by Nigerians who ply the busy expressway on account of the ongoing reconstruction.

A statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Taiwo Adeoluwa, stated that the measure had become necessary, as they observed that the already bad traffic situation on the expressway had been further compounded by the increasing spate of armed robberies reported along the road.

Ameliorate Disruption To Lives

The statement read: “The Ogun State government welcomes the ongoing reconstruction works in the full realisation of the fact that this will ultimately bring greater relief to our people.

“We however, note that the effort has come with temporary pain, in the nature of perennial traffic congestion and security challenges”.

“In the past few weeks, we took two steps. We increased Police and security patrols on that axis and opened up discussions with the Federal Controller of Works, Ogun State and the contractor.

“We suggested that they should consider working late evenings and overnight in order to ameliorate the disruption to the lives of commuters on the ever-busy expressway and Ogun residents. It is a thing of regret that our suggestion was spurned,” the statement added.

Redesigning Security Architecture

The government said it made the request based on experience and recalled that before the advent of the Governor Ibikunle Amosun’s administration, armed robberies occasioned by bad portions of the road; traffic congestion caused by unruly drivers driving against the flow of traffic and tanker drivers parking indiscriminately on the median were the order of the day.

“The public will recall that we confronted these challenges headlong. We set up a task force to checkmate the excesses of the trailer drivers so much that the Governor personally led regular enforcement teams on the expressway.

“We also invested heavily on redesigning the security architecture of the state by deploying Armoured Personnel Carriers, elite Quick Response Squad (QRS), Operation MESA and the state Traffic Enforcement and Compliance Agency (TRACE).

“We have also repeatedly intervened by undertaking major repair works on bad stretches of the road, not minding the fact that it is a Federal Government highway.

“Additionally, we took responsibility for clearing traffic, maintaining security and cleaning after the departure of our monthly religious visitors,” it stated.

The government expressed delight that its efforts ultimately restored relative sanity on the road and greatly reduced robbery incidents, but noted that that was until the recent intervention by Julius Berger.

It further explained that the objective of the directive was to mitigate the man-hour losses and socio-economic disruptions occasioned by the ongoing reconstruction work.

The Ogun State government assured the road users that it would continue to monitor the situation and proactively engage the Federal Ministry of Works, Power and Housing and the contractors, with a view to fashioning a robust intervention that would address both the security and traffic situation on the road.

They also implored the people of the state to remain calm as they work round the clock to redress the inconveniences.

Ekiti Election: Police IG Deploys Men, Equipment

Police SUAhead of the weekend’s governorship election in Ekiti State, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, has deployed security equipment including surveillance helicopters, armoured personnel carriers, patrol vans and other law enforcement gadgets to the state.

At a brief ceremony at the Police Headquarters in Abuja, Mr Abubakar assured Nigerians of the readiness of the Police and other security agencies to ensure a hitch-free election.

Defying the early morning rain, the IGP sounded a note of warning to troublemakers and those not directly connected with the election.

He noted that his men had the express mandate of the Inspector-General of Police to ensure peaceful conduct of the governorship election in the state.

The Inspector-General also charged the policemen on election duty in the state to carry out their duties in line with democratic conduct, while ensuring that the state remains calm throughout the election and beyond.

The Inspector-General of Police solicited the cooperation of politicians in the state for the smooth conduct of the election.

The deployment comes as a reinforcement of other security measures already put in place by the Police.

Restore Policing In Rivers, Amaechi Tells New Rivers Police Chief

Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, has urged the new Police Commissioner deployed to the state, Mr. Tunde Ogunsakin to work towards restoring effective policing in the state.

He also said that his administration was willing to cooperate with the Police in the state to restore law and order as long as the Police was ready to be non-partisan and neutral.

Amaechi disclosed this on Thursday when Mr. Ogunsakin and other top Police officers in the state paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House, Port Harcourt.

According to him, “We are willing to co-operate with the Police to restore law and order. The only thing we need is for the Police to have the courage to restore law and order. The Police must do whatever it takes to restore law and order, the Rivers State Government will assist the Nigerian Police in any form that they require.

“Don’t support PDP, and don’t also support APC, just, support Rivers people. Any order that is illegal from the Rivers State Government, please, don’t obey…What we want is a neutral Police Commissioner that is firm and understands that the state needs to accommodate everybody, and not one that loves to be in any of the political parties. I must congratulate you, the plans you have are also well thought out, and needs the support of the Rivers State Government.”

Governor Amaechi also recalled the cordial relationship his administration enjoyed with the Military and the Police when he took over in 2007.

“From February last year (2013) we saw ourselves gradually going back to that era. Go to our communities, these boys are back and carrying weapons and have also installed themselves as chiefs and dishing out instructions”, Amaechi said.

Governor Amaechi further narrated how his administration supported the Police in providing Armoured Personnel Carriers, (APC), bullet proof vests, scholarship programmes, primary health centres and others, as a way of motivating the Police work force in combating crime in the state.

“If they give you the history of our support to the Police in Rivers State, you will be shocked. Please just take your time, call for all the files in the past one year and go through them. You will find out that while my colleagues were battling with other things, we were making efforts to buy Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC).

“It was the same APC that they were trying to use against us…We also bought bullet proof vests for the Police. We also introduced scholarship programmes, that any policeman that was shot in the cause of the crisis, we will not only train his children, we will employ the wife or give out money to the wife to start business.

“We built a Health Centre for the Police and bought vehicles for the Police. We thank you for accepting the challenge, because, what you are going to face now is a challenge. It will not be the normal police commissioner job, you are here to restore policing. Also, know that there will be a lot of intrigues, but, I won’t be part of the intrigues. If you know me and those who know me, you will understand that. I say my mind, and I will try as much as I can to be honest”, Amaechi noted.

New CP Reaffirms Commitment

Earlier, the new Commissioner of Police, Mr. Tunde Ogunsakin said, it is proper and of necessity that the Governor of a state and the Commissioner of Police should synergize to pursue and enhance the security of lives and properties in the state. “This is the crux of my visit to your office today.”

According to him, “The President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces is the Chief Security Officer of the Federation, while the Inspector General of Police is the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the Federation. Also, in a state, the Executive Governor is the Chief Security Officer, and the Commissioner of Police is the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the State. This relationship is definitely best appreciated when it is harnessed to ensure peace and tranquillity in the state”, Ogunsakin said.

The state Police boss also highlighted the role of the Nigerian Police as spelt out in Section 4 of the Police Act (CAP359) Law of the Federation of Nigeria 1990, to include, the prevention and detection of crime, the apprehension of offenders, preservation of law and order, the protection of lives and property, as well as the due enforcement of laws and regulations which the Police is directly charged.

Mr. Ogunsakin further indicated his intention to partner with the communities in the state and other established institutions, including relevant stakeholders and other sister security agencies.

Continuing he said, “I intend to in due course commence wide consultations and meetings with the various interest groups with a view to brainstorming and looking into the grey areas. I am convinced that, this will go a long way in assisting us in arriving at a common ground towards a harmonious and peaceful co-existence. Therefore, Political activities must be effectively managed in order not to endanger the peace in the state.  We shall on our part be objective, liberal, firm and non-partisan, as I will deploy my expertise to manage the affairs of the Rivers State Police Command in the best possible professional manner.

“I will strategically marshal a formidable operational plan that will speedily arrest the trend of all forms of criminalities, particularly violent crimes in the state. Consequently, I want to use this medium to sound a note of warning to all criminals in the state to either have a change of mind and become law-abiding citizens or relocate from Rivers State immediately. I encourage all law abiding citizens of Rivers State to go about their lawful business.”

Ajimobi Fortifies Security In Oyo State

Three Armoured Personnel Carriers and four Toyota Hilux trucks have been handed over to the Police and the Joint Security Task Force code named ‘Operation Burst’ to enhance the effectiveness of security officials in Oyo State.

While handing over the vehicles to the Oyo State Commissioner of Police Mohammed Indabawa and the Commander of the Operation Burst, Brigadier-General Laz Ilo, at the Governor’s Office, Agodi Ibadan, Governor Abiola Ajimobi, said that the vehicles are critical operational tools that must be provided for security operatives in the state.

He added that the peace currently enjoyed in the state is as a result of the dedication and relentless effort of security agencies in the state.

“I’ll like to assure you that the security of lives and property for which you have been working hard to secure will be supported by us fully, in terms of welfare, equipment, technology, and in terms of what I call commitment of the state,” He assured.