Lagos – The residents of Gowon Estate, in Mosan Okunola Local Council Development Area, Lagos State, have expressed joy over the regular presence of police patrol at night in the community.
Some of the residents, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said on Thursday in Lagos that the police presence gave the confidence to sleep well.
They said that hitherto, some hoodlums broke into shops, vandalised vehicles and looted houses when their owners were not at home, a development they said was uncommon before.
According to them, the area was becoming a hoodlums’ haven as no night passes without some residents experiencing attacks on shops or vehicles.
They said the situation now caused fear among the residents of the federal housing estate.
Mr Nathaniel Okoro, Chairman, Community Development Association of the estate, told NAN that the leadership of the area was happy to see regular police patrol.
“I was pleasantly surprised last week when so many patrol vehicles were going round the estate from 3rd Avenue through 5th to 4th Avenue and all over the places.
“This started around about 2 a.m. and they went on till about 5 a.m. which was pleasantly surprising.
“If the police could gage the feeling of the people of the community for that singular action, they will know that they have to keep it up.
“The people are happy, they feel save, they feel the presence of the police in their midst.
“My prayer, though, is that they should keep it up, we are here to work with them, whatever information we have we will pass it on to them,’’ Okoro said.
The chairman, however, stressed the need for the police to improve upon their public relations with members of the community with a view to attracting positive interaction with them.
Mrs Felicia Fabunmi, a trader and a victim of the hoodlums, said the presence of the police was a great relief to her and the business.
She said that she had lost almost N1 million worth of goods to the thieves.
For Mr Leye Ajayi, a civil servant, the regular patrol would ward off the hoodlums, who had vandalised his car and removed the battery.
“Many cars have been vandalised in this estate. The hoodlums remove batteries, car brain boxes, headlamps and window control panels.
“They vandalised my car two weeks ago,’’ Ajayi said.
Sources told NAN that a pharmacy along 43 Road was raided at about 8 p.m. recently and money and drugs stolen from the place.
The spokesman of the Lagos State Police command, DSP Joseph Offor, told NAN that the patrol was a normal exercise, not particularly for Gowon Estate.
Offor said that the new additional vehicles donated by the state government recently to the command had improved security in many places where there were no patrol vehicles.
“The new vehicles were deployed mainly to areas where there are good roads, while the Hilux patrol vehicles in some areas have been moved to other areas with rough roads.
“We have increased patrol in many areas where such was lacking. There are some areas without Armoured Personnel Carriers before which now have,’’ he said. (NAN)