Some Boko Haram members have been nabbed in Lagos State after fleeing from the highly troubled Northeastern part of the country.
An Islamic cleric, Mohammed Abdullahi on Monday revealed that no less than three suspected Boko Haram terrorists who fled Borno State were arrested in Lagos last month.
The Nation reports that Abdullahi stated this during a meeting between acting Police Commissioner Imohimi Edgal and stakeholders in Area D Command held at the Isolo Townhall.
According to the cleric, bulk of Boko Haram terrorists who escaped the northeastern part to Lagos were arrested at Ajao Estate, wondering why they always ran to the area.
He said: “A lot of people think Boko Haram issue is just about the Northeast, but they are mistaken. We have been arresting fleeing Boko Haram members in Lagos.
“I do not know if it is as a result of the proximity to the airport. Most of the escapee Boko Haram members who came to Lagos have been arrested in Ajao Estate. Just three weeks ago, we arrested three of them who ran from Borno State.
“We have a way of identifying them. The Seriki Hausa in Ajao Estate has the contact of all the Local Government Chairmen in Borno State. That way, we usually know those Boko Haram elements who have fled the area to other parts of the country,
“We have been doing this since 2014 and we have been working in collaboration with the Joint Task Force (JTF) in Borno. Once we identify them, we contact the JTF and they come and arrest them.
“We were not working with the police because we thought the police would not collaborate with us. But now that the CP has indicated commitment to partner all stakeholders and enthrone community policing, we would be working with the police.”
Reacting to Abdullahi’s disclosure, Edgal assured that the police would verify the claims by the cleric because there were serious security issues.
He urged residents to be more vigilant, noting that Lagos cannot be isolated from security challenges in other parts of the country.
Edgal said: “The issue raised by him is a vital security issue. I have taken his number. We must verify the facts. Nevertheless, it calls for increased vigilance. We cannot isolate Lagos from security challenges in other parts of the country.
“We all know that Lagos is the melting pot of the country. Because Lagos is functioning, we are getting influx of people at astronomical rate.
“We are going to have a meeting with and all Arewa leaders in the state so that localities where they have majority of their people are policed more closely.
“Already, based on this community policing, I have extended hands of partnership to them. Like I said, I intend to partner their leaders to ensure every new face that comes into Lagos from that part of the country is monitored.
“The final points of the partnership would mean that every community leader in Lagos would assist the police profile their members. We do not want strays. Anyone who comes into the state must identify with their communities and it is incumbent on the leaders to bring the persons forward for biometrics so that we would have records.”
Ealier, the police chief noted that the prevalent crime in Area D Command was cultism, which he said the command would tackle headlong with the support of residents.
Edgal reiterated that no police the world over could effectively fight crime without the collaboration of the people.
He said: “I came here to introduce and explain my policing plan, aimed at reducing crime to the barest minimum and also enthrone rule of law. My plan is based on community policing and partnership initiative.
“We have come to the realisation that it is not possible for any police force to police society without imput of members of that society. Policing is a localised activity. It is members of the community that know the inner streets/routes. They are the ones who know their policing needs.
“It is our goal to partner society to ensure that our major highways, streets and communities are safe. At Isolo, I know that the major issues you have are those of neighbourhood robbery and cultism. Area D does not have issues of violent crimes.
“We are putting in place measures to tackle crime and insecurity headlong. Before now, we lacked vigilance, strategy and structure to deal with issues of cultism and armed crime. But with functional partnerships, that would be contained.
“For those who have been observant, you would see that Metro Patrol Vehicles are now stationed at all major junctions across the state. The deployment is to enable residents have first point of call when in distress.
“You should run to the policemen and tell them your problem. They must not direct you to any police station. They have to take your complaint.
“As we are in the ember months, ensure your neighbourhood has vigilante groups. Call out your neighbours to volunteer and assist local guards and police keep you safe.
“Screen them and take list to your Divisional Police Officer (DPO). They would be called for profiling and documented. Armed policemen would be attached to them because no vigilante member is allowed to carry arms.”
At the event were the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence (SCIID), Bolaji Salami; Area D Commander, Olasoji Akinbayo; Chairmen, Isolo and Ejigbo Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs), Olaleye Shamsudeen and Bello Oba, as well as traditional rulers, market and religious leaders among others.