The Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Mr. Olusegun Dawodu has stated that the task of ensuring peace and safety in Lagos State is one that calls for collaborative efforts between the Youth and Police in the State.
Speaking at the grand finale of the Police-Youth Dialogue organised by the Ministry at the Air Force Officers’ Mess, Kofo Abayomi, Victoria Island, Lagos, Dawodu said the Second Edition of Police-Youth Dialogue is planned to mend, build trust, heal and strengthen the relationship between law enforcement personnel and young people in the State.
“It is also designed as a tangible tool to bring attention to issues causing tension between law enforcement officers and the youth, thereby building a model towards restorative justice rather than punitive discipline”, he noted.
He explained that the programme was designed to show the State Government’s commitment to a lawful, peaceful and safe Lagos as well as reaffirming the general saying that “Police is your Friend” both in theory and most especially, in practice.
On her part, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Pharm (Mrs.) Toyin Oke-Osanyintolu said, “The dialogue is an intellectual gathering of young leaders in Lagos State. A platform where burning issues are discussed extensively in order to bridge the communication gap between the Lagos State Police Command and the youths resident in the State”.
Pointing out the gains of the Dialogue, Pharm (Mrs.) Oke-Osanyintolu said it has helped to Clarify the roles and functions of different security agencies within the State; Understand Civil Rights and obligations in Lagos in supporting the State Police Command and other security agencies; Discuss strategies to combat the high rate of insecurity within the State; and Proffer ways to actively involve youths resident in Lagos State for better community policing and security information management.
The Commissioner of Police, Lagos Command, Mr. Abiodun Alabi, represented by the State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Benjamin Hundeyin, said the misunderstanding between the Police and youth is a result of impatience between the former and the latter which could be resolved through effective dialogue.
Resident Electoral Commissioner, Lagos State, Mr. Segun Agbaje, represented by Mrs. Adenike Datashe, in his presentation on, “The Role of the Youth in Ensuring a Violence-Free 2023 Elections: Peaceful Voting Culture”, enlightened the youths on the dos and don’ts of credible elections as well as their role in it.
Similarly, in his keynote presentation on “The Police, Youth and the Law: Strategic Collaboration for a Safer Lagos”, Director-General, of the Nigerian American Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Gbenga Adebija, while stressing the need for the State to support the police-community relations system, he recommended that the State Government should put in place Police Appreciation Day while other states should emulate the Lagos’ model.
In his remarks, Consular-General, Spanish Embassy, Daniel Lasada Miller, commended the Lagos State for the initiative which he described as “very timely” considering the electioneering period.
Mr Miller, while noting the role of youth in the prevention and resolution of crises, stated that all hands must be on deck in encouraging the youth to ensure a safer society.
In their goodwill messages, the Chairman, National Youth Council of Nigeria (Lagos State Chapter), Mr. Lekan Biliaminu Oba and Lagos State Youth Ambassador, Miss Zainab Ayomikun Aderounmu, commended the Lagos State Government for the initiative which they said would help bridge the communication gap between the youth and Police in the State.