By Obidike Jerry

As part of measures to improve security in Trade Fair Complex, Lagos, Trade Fair Stakeholders Forum, an umbrella body of all the traders and allied businesses in the complex, recently donated a mini van to the police station in the complex.                                                                                                                                        

Speaking while handing over the vehicle’s keys and particulars to the divisional police officer (DPO), Tolani Lamina, chairman of the forum, Mr. Eric Ifeany iIlechukwu, said the presentation was in recognition of the good job by the police in improving the security of the complex. He urged them not rest on their oars.

His words: “These  are the keys and documents of the security vehicle. The presentation today is in fulfilment of the promise made to you when you resumed duty as the DPO of the station by the stakeholders sometime ago. Though it was delayed because of some unforeseen circumstances, we are happy to be here today because everything works in God’s own time.                                                                                                                                              ‘’This token is to further assist you in discharging your responsibility of effectively providing security for the entire complex. We believe strongly this gift will enhance mobility and quicker response to our calls for assistance anytime we have security challenges here.           

“We promise to work with you to secure the complex and to further assist as much as possible in the days ahead to bring the crime rate to its barest minimum or possibly make here crime-free.’’                                                                                                        Responding, the DPO said the patrol vehicle had made her day.

“I am excited beyond speech. In fact, this presentation has made my day. Today is a major milestone in my life and since I resumed duty here. On behalf of officers and men of this station, I sincerely thank you for this beautiful gift and I pray that you will never lack, in Jesus Name. God will continue to replenish your pockets and enable your businesses to blossom more, protect you and your families. And I want to re-emphasise that officers and men of this station are ready to cooperate with you at any point in time you need our help to further bring security challenges here to its barest minimum,” she said.                                                                                                                                      

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Also speaking, Mr. Oforkansi, former president of Auto Spare Parts and Machinery Dealers Association (ASPAMDA), said the event was a very auspicious moment to appreciate the DPO and let her know they were responsible people who keep their promise. He added: “We think security and how to better protect the complex and that is why we have made this token presentation and we believe the gift will enable police to better protect this place.’’       

Talking about the working relationship with the station before now, Offorkansi revealed that the station was built and donated to the police by one of the stakeholders. And since then, they have been renovating and improving on the structures on ground. He urged other market associations in Nigeria to emulate them so as to improve overall security in the country.

On the security challenges in the complex, Mr. Chuka Mekowulu, chief security officer (CSO) of one of the stakeholders, Association of Progressive Traders (APT), and also the overall CSO of the complex, said the police had always been there and they need to be supported perform better.

He said: “We must not leave everything to government. So, this is a token  to let them know we appreciate all the efforts they are making to secure the complex.”

Talking about security challenges and whether the police were equal to the task, he said: “No doubt, there are security challenges here but they are not insurmountable. This is a business environment requiring movement of goods, services and cash. In an environment like this, you are bound to have the good ones and the bad, ones but the good ones are in majority. The bad ones are very few. We, CSOs, are working effectively with the police to ensure the bad ones don’t spoil things for us here.”

Other members of the forum present included Alhaji Isa Mohammed, president, Africa Tyre Village, and a member of the forum, Mr. Jude Okeke, former president APT, Mr. Osy Ekpunobi, financial secretary of the forum, secretary of the forum, Mayor Kenneth Ugbaja, Mr. Chukwunoso Okafor and Mr. Osoenigwe.