Lagos State government has stressed the need for cooperation and understanding between policemen and youths in the state to engender peace and ensure the safety of live and properties.
Olusegun Dawodu, the state
Commissioner, Ministry of Youth and Social Development, made the call on Saturday at the grand finale of the 2023 Police Youth Dialogue organised by his Ministry.
The event was held at the Air Force Officers’ Mess, Kofo Abayomi, Victoria Island, Lagos.
“This second 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,” Dawodu said .
According to him, the programme is also to show the state’s 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.
Also speaking st the event, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mrs Toyin Oke-Osanyintolu described the dialogue as a useful platform to promote peace and bridge the communication gap between youths and law enforcement agents.
“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,” She said.
Pointing out the gains of the dialogue, Oke-Osanyintolu said it has helped to clarify the roles and functions of different security agencies within the State.
She stated further that the dialogue has helped in shedding more light “on 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,Mr Abiodun Alabi, was represented at the event by the State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Benjamin Hundeyin.
Alabi through Hundryin said the misunderstanding between the Police and youth is as a result of impatience between the former and the latter which could be resolved through dialogue.
He pledged the full support of the Nigeria Police Force to the programme which he described as “a laudable one.”
Resident Electoral Commissioner,, Lagos State,Mr Segun Agbaje, represented by Mrs 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 donts in the conduct of credible elections as well as their role in it.
Also, in his keynote presentation on “The Police, Youth and the Law: Strategic Collaboration for a Safer Lagos”, Director General, Nigerian American Chamber of Commerce,Mr Gbenga Adebija, while stressing the need for the State to support the police-community relations system (which has worked in the civilized climes), recommended that the State Government should put in place Police Appreciation Day while other states should emulate the Lagos’ model.
In his remarks, Consular General, Spanish Embassy, Daniel Lasada Miller, commended the Lagos State for the initiative which he described as “very timely” considering the electioneering period.
Miller , while noting the role of youths in the prevention and resolution of crisis, stated that all hands must be on deck to positively encourage the nation’s youth to ensure a safer society.
In their goodwill messages, Chairman, National Youth Council of Nigeria (Lagos State Chapter), Mr Lekan Biliaminu Oba and Lagos State Youth Ambassador, Miss Zainab Ayomikun Aderounmu commended the Lagos State Government for the initiative which they said would help bridge the communication gap between the youth and Police in the State.