How We Stopped Terrorist From Bombing Lagos In 2013 - Fashola - Mackenzie Sky Blog

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Thursday, February 6, 2020

How We Stopped Terrorist From Bombing Lagos In 2013 - Fashola

Babatunde Fashola
Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN)
Former Lagos State Governor and now Minister for Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), has come out to narrate how his administration in 2013 was able to prevent attempts by terrorists to bomb Lagos State.

The former governor said they intercepted 17 suitcases loaded with explosives which were smuggled in to wreak havoc in the state.

He disclosed this while delivering a lecture titled “Insecurity: Taking actions against organized crime” at the fourth annual public lecture of the United Action for Change (UAC) held in Lagos.

Noting that security was not the job of law enforcement agencies alone, Fashola said the suitcases were discovered with the help of citizen information.

“It is when information is offered that law enforcement must act to check, recheck and verify. So, when 17 suitcases loaded with explosives were brought into Lagos in 2013, law enforcement missed it.

“It was citizen information, which we did not discard, that led to their seizure, apprehension of the suspects and their cargo of terror.

"They were tried in Lagos without public show. That was the period new courts were being built in Badagry and we prosecuted them there. They were given fair trial because they had lawyers representing them. They were over 20 and were convicted and this enabled government put them in a place where they could no longer harm residents of Lagos,” he said.

The Minister, went on to urge the citizen of the state to always be interested in what's happening around them and pay good attention to unusual activities going on around them and be courageous to report any abysmal findings.

“Let me be clear that this is the duty of the citizen and it starts with all of us being interested in our own well-being and security. It involves not only careful choices about lifestyle which will prevent us from being attractive as victims to criminals. It requires us to show more interest in what/who is around us and to pay more attention to unusual things.

“It also requires courage, a lot of it, to be able to share information no matter how innocuous, with law enforcement, to enable them keep us safe. There is no magic to Intelligence gathering, it is rooted in civic responsibility.

“One institution of civic participation that we must revive, reform and reuse is the Residents/Landlord Association. We need them very quickly. Know your neighbour is a critical first line of defence against any criminal activity and in particular against organised crime.

“It helps to occupy the space of anonymity in which all criminals thrive and provides information or suspicion about irregular or abnormal behaviour that requires attention,” said Fashola.

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