Lagos plans new law to control neighbourhood watch
In a bid to ensure that emerging highbrow crimes like killings by herdsmen, kidnapping, ritual killings and terrorism do not take root in Lagos State, the government has promised to evolve all necessary and legal measures.
The Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, dropped the hint yesterday during a public hearing into a bill seeking to establish an agency for the control of the state’s security institution, the Neighbourhood Watch.
Explaining the necessity for a law to prioritise community policing, Obasa declared: “We all agree that the issue of lives and property has been a major cause for concern in recent times.
“The Boko Haram insurgency, Niger Delta militancy, kidnapping, armed robbery and recent upsurge in cases of killings perpetrated by Fulani herdsmen and several brawls give Nigerians cause for concern.”
He said the Assembly would not rest on its oars, stressing, “we are determined to completely wipe out crimes in the state; that is the major reason for the bill we are discussing here today…”
The bill has gone through the first and second readings, is set for the third and final reading, preparatory to being passed into law.
When passed into law, it would repeal the Neighborhood Watch Law of 1996, enacted by the then military administration of Brigadier-General Buba Marwa (rtd).
The Speaker and the sponsor of the bill, Tunde Braimoh; assured that the new law and the security outfit to emerge from it is not out to compete with the Nigeria Police, but to complement their efforts in preventing and combating crimes.
The Speaker, however, made it very clear that when the new agency and the outfit to emerge come on stream, the state government would give priority to it in terms of funding and equipment to fight crimes the way, if not more than, it supported the Police in the state.