The need for inter service synergy, particularly between the military and police, has again been stressed, as the only solution to adequately tackle acts of criminality.
General Officer Commanding (GOC) 81 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Enobong Okon, who was on a courtesy visit to Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Police Command, Imohimi Edgal, in Ikeja said he has come to cement the relationship between the army and the police.
He said the inter-rivalry between the police and military was a thing of the past as any soldier caught fighting the police would be held responsible and given severe punishment. “It is against the role of our engagement to fight on the street or to make trouble with the members of the public.
The army won’t tolerate any soldier fighting with the police or any other sister agencies or the member of the public. We will discipline such a deviant. We want the police to do same and if we sanction our men, there will be sanity in the organisations.”
He added that, “The Nigerian Army is ready to close rank with the police as far as security is concern in Lagos. I have gone round and heard a lot of issues and problems that exist in various parts of the state such as Militancy, cultism, armed robbery, sea robbery, piracy, activities of pipeline vandals and so many other threats. I must however, commend the CP and his lieutenants for what they are doing since you (CP) took over.”
Okon who frowned on the inter rivalry between the police and military, said emphatically that senior officers at the helm of affairs of both sides should be blamed for the cause, informing that the main reason for his visit was to chat a new course of peace between policemen and soldiers.
To start with, he said he had started preaching to his men against quarreling or fighting with any policeman in public, saying it was against the constitution of the Nigerian Army.
He therefore, urged senior police officers present to take the message back to their units and commands and also called on the need for big sides to see themselves as friends instead of enemies.
To solidify the move, the GOC said joint trainings, route match, show of force should be held between both sides regularly to pass the message of inter service synergy. To further foisted this, he invited the CP, his lieutenants and other senior police officers to an Army event tagged ‘Multi Agency Solidarity lunch and happy hour’ which holds every month, adding that the invitation would also be extended to other agencies in Lagos.
Imohimi further described Okon’s visit as being apt, stated that the synergy between security agencies in Lagos was next to none, pointing out that some breakthroughs recorded by the command had been in joint collaboration with the military in particular.
He stated specifically that the military played a role in tackling the menace of Badoo, as well as other operations carried out in trouble prone areas in the state.
He pointed out the constitutional role of the police included performing other roles played by the military, while the military by constitution, are meant to play supplementary role.
“We may have different roles but we are working for same government with the same mandate of ensuring that life and properties are well protected” he said.
It is also our duty to permeate down our officers because we’re one. But unfortunately, as human beings, the misunderstanding will always be there but the ways of handling matters is most key, so we must swiftly rise up to that, so that the situation does not escalate.”
Further he assured that his command under his watch would not only stregthen the synergy but would build a platform where subsequent CP, would tailor the line.