By Oladapo Udom
Lagos – The new Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, CP Hakeem Odumosu has said that managing the menace of traffic in the metropolis would be his top priority.
Odumosu disclosed this during a press briefing Monday in Ikeja.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Odumosu took over from AIG Zubairu Muazu, who was recently promoted from Commissioner of Police to Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG).
Muazu has been posted to Force Headquarters, Abuja as AIG in charge of Counter Terrorism Unit.
The commissioner said that bad roads were the major cause of traffic in Lagos State, adding that poor attitude of drivers also contributed to the traffic problem in the state.
“The Lagos State Government under Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has started palliatives on all the roads especially now that the rains have subsided.
“However, I urge him to increase more of the palliatives on the roads because bad roads contribute to traffic congestion.
“If we have the government tackling bad roads from that angle and we the police on the road controlling the traffic, congestion would be reduced to a minimum.
“Once traffic flows, we would have reduced crime by at least 30 per cent in the city,” Odumosu said.
He said that more men would be mobilised from all sections of the police so that there would be enough personnel to manage traffic in the state.
The commissioner also said that he had enlightened the various Divisional Police Officers (DPO) and Area Commanders on the need to change strategy towards traffic management.
“We need to change our traffic management strategy such as the time of reporting for duty and the time of closing of the traffic officers.
“The closing time of any traffic junction will be 10 pm and in areas where the traffic congestion is very serious, the time would be extended to 12 midnight,” he said.
The new CP added that part of the strategy to effect community policing would include publishing the phone numbers of all the DPOs in national dailies for easy access by the public.
“Improved communication matters in every relationship for sustainability and growth. So, we want to reduce the gap between the police and the members of the public through the press,” he said.
Odumosu also said that his administration would leave no stone unturned in tackling and reducing the menace of commercial motorcycles that have contributed to increased crime rate and accidents in the state.
“I have given my DPOs an order that the law on Okada restriction should be carried out fully in order to curb their menace to the society,” he said.
The commissioner urged the media to report occurrences accurately and promptly, saying that such reports would encourage the police and give a lot of confidence to members of the public.
“Police and journalism have two things in common because of their peculiarities as the two professions that cut across everybody in the society.
“The media is ladened with the responsibility of interviewing all aspect of life while the police is a Jack of all trade so these are the bond that they have together.
“Therefore, I plead for your cooperation and assistance in moving the Force forward,” he said.
Odumosu pledged to do everything in his power to ensure that the upcoming Crime Reporters Association of Nigeria (CRAN) Awards scheduled for Nov. 28 would be grand and successful.
Meanwhile, the Lagos Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Bala Elkana has expressed confidence in the ability of Odumosu in discharging his duties effectively and bringing crime to the minimum in the state.
Elkana had said that the new commissioner was very much familiar with Lagos terrain having occupied different leadership positions in the past.
“There is no doubt, he will bring his wealth of experience to bear in piloting the affairs of the command.
“The good people of Lagos State are enjoined to accord the new Commissioner of Police maximum support,” he said.
NAN reports that Odumosu started his career in the Police as Operations Officer in Isokoko, Ketu and Satellite Divisions as well as Area D Command, Mushin, Lagos.
He was at a time Chairman, Lagos State Taskforce on Environmental and Special Offences, Governor’s Office, Alausa, Ikeja.
NAN also reports that Odumosu was also one time Commander, Rapid Response Squad, Lagos State Command and also Assistant Commissioner of Police Operations, Western Ports Authority Command, Lagos.
He was also a member and Head of Enforcement Unit of the Presidential Taskforce on the Restoration of Law and Order on Apapa gridlock, Lagos.