The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar Adamu in the company of Lagos State Commissioner of Police, CP Hakeem Odumosu and other Government officials have Inspected the level of damage done on Police formations and facilities by the EndSARS protesters that were hijacked by hoodlums some weeks ago.
The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, stated that 1,596 suspects have been arrested across the country in respect of the EndSars protest.
It was the first time the Number One super Cop in the country would be visiting Lagos after a nationwide youth demonstration against human rights violations and brutality allegedly committed by the disbanded men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
Lagos was the epicentre of the “EndSARS Protest”, which later snowballed to coordinated violence that led to a large-scale destruction of assets belonging to the State, Federal Government, police and private individuals.
Adamu said this while addressing Police officers and newsmen at the Lagos State Command Headquarters, Ikeja, during a courtesy visit to burnt police formations and injured police officers in Lagos.
The police boss commended his officers for showing professionalism during the protest by showing restraint and not engaging the protesters violently.
“When they campaigned against SARS they came up with five demands and after about four days protest, the authorities acceded to those demands because they were demands that could lead to reforming SARS.
“Our expectation was that after that, the protesters will leave the streets, but then they didn’t.
“Every security agent knows that when people come out to protest without observing the protocol, there is always a tendency for the protest to subsequently turn violent,” he said.
Adamu said that 14 states in the country were badly affected as a result of the violent protest with Lagos State witnessing the worst hit.
“We witnessed the destruction of public properties as well as police stations and businesses.
“The attack by hoodlums in this manner has the tendency to provoke the police and when we are provoked we have the capacity and strength to repel these people.
“However, we have shown restraint by not using maximum force to repel the hoodlums and criminals that went about destroying properties and killing people.
“So, that resilience to restrain have shown that no amount of provocation will lead you to give credence to what they have been preaching on police brutality,” he said.
Adamu commended police officers for there professionalism , saying it turned the table around against the protesters.
“I am happy to note that not everybody in the country agreed with the violence not everybody agrees that police are bad.
“Every organization and institution in any country breeds few bad eggs just like we have a few in the police that are bad, however, the majority of Nigerian Police officers are good,” he said.
The IGP said that President Muhammadu Buhari, in support of the police, said that the vast majority of men and women of the force are patriotic and committed to protecting the lives and livelihood of Nigerians.
“We will continue to support them to do their jobs, so the Nigeria Police have support from the highest authority in this country.
“In spite of the fact that we have been attacked, hospitalized and some of our formations burnt, we will still remain committed to our constitutional duties,” he said.
Adamu said that the federal government have decided to specially treat policemen through reform initiatives that will enable them to continue to do their constitutional responsibilities across the country.
He was received on arrival by the Executive chairman Oshodi-Isolo Local Government Hon. Idris Bolaji Muse Ariyoh, Exco members, Oshodi-Isolo legislators, Public community relation committee ( PCRC), CDA members of Oluyeye/Dosunmu, Raimi Olowora/Eweje, Agbelekale/Olaiya, officers of makinde police station, and members of the community.
The DPO of the police station, Francis Ebuoma led the Inspector General of Police and his entourage to inspect the effect of the arsonists on the station including the three blocks of eight flat behind the station.
In the same vein, Chairman of oshodi Police community relation committee ( PCRC) Chief Femi Akeju ( jp) expressed displeasure of the community over the sad incident as he explained how the hoodlums looted and carted away materials stocked for the completion of the PCRC building beside the police station and pleaded with the police boss to assist in completing the building.
The inspector General of Police commiserated with the entire Oshodi community on the incident and assured them of immediate response to rebuild the station and compensation for victims.
Adamu consoled the Governor and people of Lagos over the coordinated arson, which left strategic assets of the State in ruins. He said the police had widened its intelligence to trace and arrest those that carried out such act.
He said: “Lagos was the epicenter where the EndSARS protest took place and the number of destruction in the subsequent violence was more in Lagos than any other part. I came to commiserate with the Governor and people of the State. The destruction they suffered was uncalled for.
“The second leg of my visit is to see the police stations destroyed and boost the morale of our men in Lagos. We don’t want them to be demoralized by the event in which they suffered personal attacks. Policemen are trained to take such pain. Now that the event has happened, it shouldn’t discourage us from performing our constitutional duties.
”The police boss said he observed that the morale of some officers had dampened in the light of the violence, he noted that his visit would encourage them to give their all in protecting the lives and properties of the citizens.
Adamu said the scale of the destruction witnessed in Lagos and around the country called for the need by Nigerians to adopt standard protocols for public protests whenever they wanted to express their grievances against the system.
“It is very important to set up protocols that will prevent hoodlums to hijack peaceful protest organized with good intentions. The moment the protest organizers don’t have leadership, the purpose and intent of the effort would be defeated. As we have seen in the case of EndSARS protest, no economy will be able to bear the loss that we have seen in Lagos,” the IGP said.
Adamu visited some of the assets torched in Lagos, including the vandalized palace of the Oba of Lagos.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, Hakeem Odumosu, requested that the IGP should consider and approve posthumous special promotions for the police personnel’s who lost their lives during the protest.
“This will give succor to their families and boost the morale of the serving officers and men of the NPF,” he said.
Odumosu said that Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu had promised to take full responsibilities of the bills of police personnel that sustained various degrees of injuries.
“The governor also promised to pay compensation to the family of police officers who lost their lives as well as replace police operational vehicles that were burnt during the crises.
“He also offered scholarships to the children of police personnel killed until graduation from university,” he said.
Odumosu said that provisions had been made to ensure that security is adequately provided for during the ember months in the state.