The Commissioner of Police for Lagos State, Idowu Owohunwa, has raised an alarm over the alarming increase in the illegal production of AK-47 and various other firearms within the state. This illicit trend has significantly escalated security risks, prompting heightened vigilance among law enforcement agencies.
Speaking during the inauguration of the Complaint Response Unit (CRU) by the Acting Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, Commissioner Owohunwa highlighted the growing prevalence of local expertise in the production of firearms, encompassing replicas of foreign-manufactured pistols, AK47s, and other assault rifles.
He noted that this trend, coupled with the threat of cultism, poses potent security danger. The police commissioner said;
“We are also constantly confronted with the challenge of dissecting and dealing with the thin line between the civil and criminal dynamics of land disputes which are also prevalent in the state.
“Also of routine concern is the traffic gridlock and the attendant occasional traffic robberies which are compounded by ongoing road projects across the state including, in particular, the Lagos-Ibadan highway.
“The crime profile of the state is further accentuated by the prevalence of illegal firearms proliferation, and illicit drug abuse and trafficking.
“Hardly does a day pass by without the ever vigilant operatives of the command recovering weapons and illicit drugs of various descriptions at stop and search points, raids of black spots, and other operational engagements with all such recoveries linked to the perfection of crimes across the State.
“Most worrisome in all these is a noticeable trend that indicates an increasing local expertise in the fabrication of various types of firearms including replicas of foreign-made pistols, AK47s and other assault rifles.
“This trend, coupled with the threat of cultism, poses a potent danger to the security space of Lagos State if nothing drastic is done by all strategic state actors and the citizens to complement the efforts of the Police in rolling back the dangerous tide.
“We are also leveraging our strong inter-agency synergy with the Department of State Services, the military detachments in the state and other state and federal law enforcement and public safety agencies in the state.
“Above all, we are adopting a problem-solving framework that is founded on the policing principle of zero-tolerance to crime, the practice of crime-mapping, and utilisation of crime statistics and intelligence analysis tools to support perspective policing.”