The General Officer Commanding (GOC), 81 Division Nigerian Army (NA), Major- General Lawrence Fejokwu, has assured residents in Lagos and Ogun States of adequate security, saying that the Nigerian Army will partner with others security agencies in the States, to ensure no public or private facility comes under the attack of hoodlums.
Security Watch Africa gathered that the assurance follows intelligence report at the disposal of security operatives that some hoodlums are plotting to attack critical facilities in Lagos and other States in the South-West.
Speaking to journalists in Lagos, Fejokwu noted that all hands must be on deck to ensure no State asset or private facility come under attack.
He therefore called on residents within the Area of Responsibility (AOR), of the Division, Lagos and Ogun, to volunteer information which he said will help nip crime in the bud.
The GOC further noted that intelligence sharing amongst security agencies is important to deal with security threats before they manifest as crisis.
He, however maintained that the Nigerian Army will not interfere with the duties of security agencies charged with the responsibility of protection of lives and properties, but will step in once the situation calls for their intervention
According to him: “ There are intelligence reports, but I can assure you that we are not sleeping over it. There are platforms where various security agencies meet to strategize. But one I have noticed is that everybody now wants the military, the army especially, to provide answers to everything. Apart from our core mandate, from time to time we are given tasks and we try to carry out these tasks in the midst of dealing with insurgency and other forms of violent crimes in the country.
“ It is also important we free up ourselves, so that security agencies will do their work. Whenever what they are doing tries to overwhelm them, the army will be there to give them support. I like to be proactive in the way I do my things, and being proactive entails sound intelligence gathering, interface with other security agencies, a good plan of action and very necessary, a good plan for reaction.
“ All this things laid out will tell where the first main security agencies will come in, where they draw a line and we take over, and when we can go back, hand over operation back to them to face our core mandate. Based on the directive of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), we will be training and retraining our men so that if we have situations like that we will know how to handle it.
“ Intelligence sharing most time is the key to solving this problems, once you have the right intelligence, you can nip crime in the bud before it festers. We will continue to encourage the civil populace to be partners in the fight against crime, they should give us information that will enable us go out and solve this problem before it snowballs. We are giving you assurance that measure have been put in place for security of Lagos and Ogun States ”
The Army General added that in his tenure as the GOC, he hopes to provide adequate security for all to go about their lawful businesses without fear.
“ While here as GOC, I want to make people know that the military is here to protect them, so that they can go about their businesses in a safe environment. We want to ensure soldiers on the street are there for a particular task, and those who are where they should not be, we have a way of tracking them and getting them to the barracks where they can be more useful to us, ” he stated.
While calling on all to desist from bringing civil matters to the army, he also appealed to the media to be objective in her reportage of happening, as he said such reports shape the nation, and may trigger crisis.
He said: “ We do not ask you to report to exonerate us, or favour us, just state it the way it is, so that the world out there will hear our own side of the story. ”