Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) (photo file)
By Gboyega Akinsanmi
Lagos State Government Monday urged law enforcement officers attached to the Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Kick against Indiscipline (KAI) and Neighbourhood Watch to respect people’s rights and pursue non-violence strategy while discharging their responsibilities.
Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) gave the charge at a training programme, which the office of the Senior Special Assistant on Transport Education, Dr. Miriam Masha, put in place for the 7,960 law enforcement officials at the state Public Service Staff Development Centre (PSSDC), Magodo.
Speaking at the centre, the governor asked the enforcement personnel, “to display the core values of integrity, courage, commitment, pride, professionalism, self-respect and respect for others and teamwork” in the course of discharging their core responsibilities of enforcing laws.
“As law enforcement officers, you will engage in the difficult yet important business of helping to regulate human behaviour on a daily basis. Your decisions, often taken on the spot, affect people’s lives. And you must bear that in mind in your decision making. Always remember that you are working for the people. You are their servant and not their master,” he said.
The governor also assured the officers of the state government’s commitment to conduct effective training programmes, in line with contemporary minimum standards around the world.
On his part, Masha explained the essence of the training programme was, “to prepare the law enforcement officers in the state for high service delivery and make them have better orientation and more focus so that they will be ethical on Lagos roads as well as promote law and order.”
She noted that as a law enforcement officer, one “is not expected to apply unnecessary force while apprehending someone who has violated the law of the state. These are things that each of the officers under the state government must know. There is nothing new about this.”
While speaking with journalists, Special Assistant on KAI Matters, Dapo Bode-Thomas, said law enforcement “does not always involve use of force,” noting that the programme would run through a period of 20 months.”
Bode-Thomas added that the training, “involves two-week field activities where we are going to be engaging the public and listening to their opinions. The officers will spend two weeks in the classroom, making a one-month training programme.”
He further explained that the state government had set up a provost office with a mandate to monitor the conduct of KAI officers, saying after the training, anything the provost “gives reports concerning their attitude will be implemented. Governor Fashola will not take it lightly with them because we spent so much on this training and we expect them to change from good to better.”
In another development, the state government Monday introduced a new law establishing Lagos Polytechnic, which it said, was principally enacted to make the tertiary institution efficient and proficient.
Signing the law in officer Monday, Fashola commended the House of Assembly for making intervention to improve people’s well-being through meaningful legislation.
The governor also constituted a 10-member council of the Lagos tertiary institutions research and development funds geared towards resuscitating research development in the state.
Speaking before assenting to the law, Fashola said the new law repealed the old one, which he said, was enacted to enhance skill development and technological advancement at the institution.
Fashola explained that polytechnics “are the bed rock of industrialisation and innovation, especially in any society where such institutions are optimally utilised.”
In his address, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeola Ipaye, explained the rationale behind the new law, saying that it came as a result of several proposals by institutions and other stakeholders that are interested in the development of the tertiary institutions.