From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos
Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola has written to President Goodluck Jonathan over the legality of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment programme and Federal Road Maintenance Agency, SURE-P/FERMA taskforce and for occupying the old tollgate axis of the state without adhering to due processes.
Also, according to him, no fewer than 280 murder cases and 833 vehicles were stolen in the state in the last one year.
Fashola lamented that the presence of the SURE-P/FERMA taskforce without any Government official accounting for their presence showed the laxity in the central government plan to fight insurgency.
Fashola spoke while addressing police officers, businessmen and others, at the 8th Town Hall meeting on security, themed ‘Maintaining our collective resolve in fighting crime,’ held at the City Hall, Lagos Island axis of the state.
“I have written to President Goodluck Jonathan and I want action to be taken immediately. This is because, when you gather people like that, without any clear mandate, it is a worrisome assembly.”
“I wrote the President, because they used his name and his office on a very big billboard. And no one has come out publicly to support their action or otherwise. And that showed that we are not consistent with our plan to fight insurgency.
“In this age of insurgency, I am worried that the central government is acting, in my view, in a way that does not suggest that the apex government is fully conscious of the risk posed by some men dressed in black (SURE-P/FERMA taskforce) at the Toll gate and increasing in numbers daily.
“No one seems to know who they report to. There is no law that set them up. All one see is SURE-P/FERMA taskforce. And I think it is important to remind the Apex Government especially the Presidency of the history behind the management of the group that now champion the insurgency that we are now dealing with today.
“And lately, they (SURE-P/FERMA taskforce) brought out their responsibilities and they said that part of their responsibilities was to manage the federal highways. And one would ask, what happens to the Federal Road Safety Corp, FRSC. They also claim that they would be controlling the erection of advert billboards. But that was a local government responsibility in the country.
“It is obvious that little regards is paid at the center to the ‘broken window’ theory, a theory that propounds that small acts disrespect for the law, unaddressed over a long period will ultimately snowball and lead to a break-down of law and order,” he added.