#EndSARS: Police IG in Lagos, grieves over death of personnel, wanton destruction of facilities…assures urgent rehabilitation

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By Ekamma UBA, Assistant Investigator Editor, Lagos/

THE Inspector-General of Police IGP Muhammed Adamu Tuesday, visited Lagos for an on-the-spot assessment of the wanton destruction of lives and properties occasioned by the #EndSARS protest. The Police IG who was accompanied by his key officers including the Deputy Inspector-General of Police DIG in-charge of Research and Planning, Mr. Leye Oyebade went round the state where Police formations as well as private properties were razed down by hoodlums who hijacked the peaceful protest. Speaking shortly after a minute silence in honour of the murdered Police personnel, IGP Adamu described the nationwide protest which claimed lives both in the Police and civilian populace alike as unwarranted adding that it was shocking for a fake news which emanated from the social media that some Police operatives attached to the Delta State Command on routine patrol duty killed an innocent motorist while being frisked. He lamented that, “When the protest which started from fake news on the social media indicating that a young man had been killed by some Policemen attached to the Delta State Command, we all came out to listen to their 5-points demand. Surprisingly, even after we had listened and yielded to their demands, they refused to leave the streets. This is not the first time that we are hearing about EndSARS demand and at every point; the Police had always risen up to the challenge and effected necessary change. Agreed that there are bad eggs in the Force or SARS as a Unit but not all Policemen are bad; and being bad in some aspects is not peculiar to the Police alone. So it is unfortunate that we allowed sentiments to override our collective thoughts as to destroy our own property as well those belonging to innocent private individuals.”

*IGP Adamu in a tetatet with Gov Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State during the visit…

Exhorting officers and men of the Command not to be deterred by the bizarre incident in the discharge of lawful duty of protecting lives and property, the Police boss assured that far reaching arrangements had been emplaced by the federal government to cushion the devastating effect of the protest even as he said the murdered officers would be given posthumous promotion to their next rank. He stressed, “The Police is the face of the government, whoever attacks the Police has attacked the government. And that is why I must commend you all that in spite of the attack and humiliation, you were not provoked as to use maximum force. It shows that you are all trained officers with the potentials to manage crisis. But as an organization, we shall not fold our hands and allow total breakdown of law and order and that is why I must again, commend us for the arrest of 1596 suspects nationwide who actively participated in the destruction of Police formations, vandalization of critical facilities and looting of private properties.”

Earlier, the host Commissioner of Police, CP Hakeem Odumosu told the visiting Police IG that his officers and men had remained in high spirits irrespective of the horrendous destruction to morale, lives and property in the state; adding, “Despite what happened to us, the morale of my officers and men remained high and we were able to arrest 520 suspects who were involved in the carnage, destruction of Police formations/facilities and private belongings and recovered most of the looted property. The suspects would be diligently prosecuted in the court of law. More importantly, your swift response to the yearnings of the protesting youths of Nigeria was as timely as ever, and commendable. We are indeed very proud of you and grateful sir. We have restored peace to the state. Businesses are picking up; social activities too are coming to its peak in line with COVID-19 Protocols.”

Continuing, CP Odumos said, “The IGP sir, the Command wished to inform you that we have prominently keyed into your present policing ideologies, especially, the Community Policing. This has been activated and currently in practice at all levels of the command. One of the major benefits of this is the various communities’ assistance to the command towards the recovery of some of the command’s looted items including arms, ammunition and other members of the public stolen properties. To further enhance the commitment, dedication, professionalism and better service delivery on the part of the men, we, like Oliver Twist, want to make the following requests: That the IGP considers and approves posthumous special promotions for the police personnel who lost their lives to the recent EndSARS unrest in Lagos State. This will definitely give succor to their families and boost the

morale of the serving officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force. Second, that the IGP approves additional Anti Riot Equipment for the Lagos State Police Command and that the IGP approves and release of 4 Water Canons to the Command to make the management and/or control of riots easier and more professional for the Command. Finally, that the IGP issues additional non lethal weapons like teasers, stunt guns etc, to the command in order to promote the IGP’s ideas on the use of Non-lethal weapons in line with the International Standards of Policing.”

Speaking on efforts geared towards ensuring that the security of lives and property were guaranteed in the state especially, as ‘ember months’ roll into the yuletide season, a visibly confident Odumosu said, “In the light of the above, the command wishes to reassure the IGP that despite the challenges faced by the Command during the unrest, all hands are on deck to make policing more visible, people-oriented, intelligence-driven and proactive with a view to improving on the Standard Operating Procedure of the Police for better security architecture vis-a-viz safety of lives and property for all and sundry in Lagos State. On a final note, the command has put in place mechanisms to rejig its strategies to tackle men of the underworld who might likely want to raise their ugly heads during the ember months, which is usually characterized by security challenges, in the state. It is pertinent to state that the command did not record any ugly incident during last year yuletide, and same is still achievable, and will not only be achieved but improved upon.”

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