NAN – The Lagos State Government, on Wednesday, told residents to desist from holding open processions, carnivals and use of fireworks during the yuletide.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Fatai Owoseni, told journalists that such gatherings should be done within enclosure of the venues.
He explained that the an emergency State Security Council Meeting decided to stop any form of procession due to intelligence reports on security.
Owoseni said the report indicated the possibility of such processions being hijacked by hoodlums and criminal elements.
”Some of the intelligence reports that are flowing in indicated that different groups of people are planning to come out under different kinds of names to foment trouble.
”All those outside processions should be limited, outside procession should cease. If anybody is holding a town hall meeting, new yam festival, they should limit those meetings to the venue and enclosure where they are having such meetings.
“The situation we have now does not allow us to permit open procession on the road. These events can be hijacked by terrorists and other kinds of insurgents’’, he said.
He, however, added that the state was not under any special security threat, but that proactive measures had been put in place to forestall any breakdown of law and order.
“The government would like residents to celebrate the yuletide with all the fanfare associated with the season.
“But the security situation across the globe requires everyone to be on red alert so as to prevent unscrupulous elements from unleashing terror on innocent citizens.
“ Looking at what we have on ground in terms of strategies and logistics, the council is convinced that we can reassure people in Lagos that this yuletide will be celebrated without hindrance.”
Owoseni appealed to the public to comply and cooperate with security agencies in the state as they had been mandated to restrict social gatherings including open carnivals.
“But if the people want to have such, they should inform the police in the area or let the headquarters know, so that they can secure the area’’, he said.
Owoseni insisted that the order restricting the use of fireworks in the state was still in force, as law enforcement officers had been sent out to arrest those selling, distributing and making use of the devices.