Lagos State Government has called on members of the Nigeria Police Force and the Youths in Lagos State to extend mutual respect to themselves in all interactions.
Lagos State Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Mr. Olusegun Dawodu made the call on Tuesday at the second edition of the Police Youth Dialogue organised by the Ministry at Abesan Youth Centre, Ipaja.
He advised the teeming youth population in the State to see Police Personnel as friends and accord them the necessary support and respect required for them to succeed in their constitutional responsibility of securing the life and property of residents.
He also told members of the Nigerian Police Force to be civil while carrying out their lawful duties, saying that Nigerian youths should be treated with respect and understanding as stated in the country’s constitution.
According to him, the initiative was borne out of the fact that there existed long time misunderstanding between the police and the citizenry as a result of which the programme themed: “The Police, Youth And The Law: Strategic Collaboration for a Safer Lagos”, was designed to bridge the communication gap and strengthen the relationship between law enforcement personnels and young people in the State.
Dawodu said: “As a proactive government, the Sanwo-Olu administration understands the indispensable role of youth in enhancing and sustaining the security of an important State like Lagos, hence the approval for the first-ever Police Youth Dialogue was given in 2021 when the maiden edition was held”.
“The Government, in line with the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda, will continue to design programmes geared towards promoting Youth inclusion in the socioeconomic development of the State and also building the capacity of young people in contributing to the development of Lagos”, he added.
On her part, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Pharm (Mrs.) Toyin Oke-Osanyintolu said this year’s Police Youth Dialogue would be held in all the five Administrative Divisions of Lagos State from Tuesday, 10th – Friday, 20th January, 2023 during which Facilitators would be speaking on: “Dissecting Opportunities And Risks Embedded In Community – Police Collaborations” and “The Role of the Youth in Ensuring a Violence-Free 2023 Elections: Peaceful Voting Culture”,
Stressing the importance of the Programme, the Permanent Secretary said: “It is an opportunity for the youth to meet with their ‘perceived enemy ‘ and discuss their grievances amicably in order to improve the security situation in the State and prevent future face-offs. It is also an opportunity for the Lagos State Police Command to explain its operations and principles to the youths, enlighten them on what constitutes criminality, establish an effective communication channel and clear all doubts about its integrity and effectiveness”.
Similarly, Lagos Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Benjamin Hundeyin commended the Lagos State Government for the initiative which would foster a harmonious relationship between the youth and the police.
In their presentations, Mr. Nurudeen Yusuf, an activist, enlightened the participants on their rights and their limits in relating with the Police. At the same time, Mr. Philip Daramola, a representative of the Independent National Electoral Commission, spoke on the role of the youth in ensuring free, fair and credible 2023 elections.
The Senior Special Assistant on Youth Development to Mr. Governor, Hon. Saheed Afonja; Chairman, National Youth Council of Nigeria (Lagos Chapter), Mr Lekan Biliaminu Oba and Lagos State Youth Ambassador, Miss Zainab Ayomikun Aderounmu commended the Lagos State Government for the initiative and requested for its sustainability.