ALL is not over about the Ikorodu robbery. The Lagos State House of Assembly, following the incident, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to strengthen security in the state.
They asked him to direct the Nigerian Navy and other relevant agencies to ensure that adequate security is provided, not only within the metropolis, but also on the waterways in the state.
Honourable Sanai Agunbiade, Majority Leader, Lagos House, moved the motion during the plenary on Monday.
He later called on Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to strengthen the Lagos Waterways Guard Corps.
Agunbiade said the last week Ipakodo, Ikorodu robbery incident in which two banks were robbed by bandits and later escaped through the waterways, could have been aborted if the corps had been supported to properly carry out their functions as enshrined in the Lagos State Waterways Agency Law 2008.
He then asked that the two helicopters purchased for LASWA be made functional and as well, urging all commercial banks, structures and residents nearby jetties to strengthen their security by installing high density cameras on their premises.
He said: “Rapid Response Squad (RRS) should extend their operations from the roads to waterways”.
He then called on the FG through the National Assembly to approve the formation of State Police as long advocated by the country’s 36 states.
Before the motion was passed as a resolution of the House, other lawmakers gave their consent.
First to speak was Hon. Olumuyiwa Jimoh, Apapa Constituency 2, who asked that the resolution should cover international boundaries having the Nigerian Maritime Police to be involved in the waterways security.
Stressing that armed robbers are trying to put Lagos State under siege, Hon. Lanre Ogunyemi, Ojo Constituency 2, likened the Ikorodu robbery to the one that occurred in Lekki about two months back.
He said: “The armed robbers operated commando-like and unchallenged with highly sophisticated weapons and individual expertise. We should wake up to strengthen the control and security of our waterways, working with the communities along the waterways for intelligence purposes and giving the state more Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs)”.
“1 suggest it is better to number and license all the boats on the waterways in the state for the government to take stock of those operating in the state and to make it easy to recognize anyone used for robbery operations”, said Hon. Sikiru Oshinowo from Kosofe Constituency, Ikorodu.
For Hon. Yinka Ogundimu, Agege Constituency 2, “security should be taken serious because it would be difficult for men of the RRS to operate on the waterways as they might find it hard to cope with what they need to do there”.
In the view of Hon. Rotimi Olowo, Shomolu Constituency 1, Nigerian Navy should be accused for focusing on dredgers and miners rather than handling issues of robbery on waterways for which purposes they are given incentives.
He also asked banks and other financial institutions in the state to invest in Information Technology to help security men perform their duties.
Mushin Constituency 1, Hon. Olufunmilayo Tejuosho, said the problem of waterways robbery is no longer unforeseen and as it has become rampant; adding that “The FG needs to strengthen the Navy and the Police as we know the challenges facing the waterways and the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF), whose authorities should be invited to the House so that the LSSTF laws can be amended to make their corps more effective”.
The issue of waterway robbery is nationwide and banks are not on waterways, but on the streets, stressed Hon. Moshood Oshun of Mainland Constituency 2, who said he witnessed the robbery incident in Lekki about two months ago, describing it as so scary because armed robbers go to the banks with explosives.
He said the issue of state security remains a huge task given that the police chain of command is a bit difficult.