#EndSARS: How Festac Police outfoxed protesters’ bid to raze down station…get lawmakers, residents’ ommendation

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By Mary BASSEY, Senior Investigator Correspondent, Làgos/

FOR exhibiting rare gallantry and exceptional native intelligence that visibly prevented hoodlums who had hijacked the #EndSARS protest from burning down the state of the art buildings housing Area ‘E’ Command and the adjoining Festac Division, law makers and residents alike, have continued to pure encomiums on officers and men of the Command. Sources said the commendation came amidst reports by some residents that the police in Festac barricaded a major road thereby subjecting people to untold hardship. However, the residents who spoke to reporters stated that there was no iota of truth in the report adding that rather, the only barricade at the road leading to the station was a security measure put in place to check attempts by hoodlums and Okada riders to invade the station. According to residents who highly praised the resillience of the Area Commander, ACP Halilu Muawiyah for putting up a stout resistance that warded off the visibly battle ready angry hoodlums, said they were yet to witness a Police officer blessed with guts and humaness, adding, “Apart being battle ready with officers and men to confront the hoodlums, ACP Halilu equally employed native intelligence that miraculously calmed frayed nerves. It’s not however, surprising because he is such rear bred officer.’

Hon. John Adewunmi Ogunshina, the Councilor representing Ward K, Amuwo Odofin, Local government area where the office of the area commander is situated told reporters that the Endsars protest was a big uprising within the community. “In fact, we needed to chase them out of this community and make sure they did not destroy the filling station. Their major aim during the protest was to destroy the police station. So, we needed to chase the hoodlums away because that it is what we have, and the only way we could do it was to come out enmass based on the excellent relationship we have with the Area commander. He has integrity and other act of professionalism. He demonstrated that when Okada riders that clashed with members of the state task force wanted to use the opportunity and attack the police station. The Area Commander handled the issue professionally to the delight of us all and the station was spared.”

Continuing, the lawmaker added, “As a Councilor in the community, we discussed the issue of blocking a section of the road leading to the station and we are highly in support of it. It is not the only road that leads to FESTAC. There are many roads but they are in bad condition. Nobody should use the road that pass in front of the station as an excuse for not doing his job as a government. This is because security should be paramount in whatever we are doing and that’s exactly what the police in our area have done.”

In his comment, former chairman of Amuwo-Odofin LGA, Rasheed Otolori stated that; ”What happened was that the police station was being threatened and it was incumbent on the Area Commander to take action. The road blocked is not a major one. There are about four outlets in and out of Festac. When the council headquarters and police station were being threatened at the time of Endsars hijacked by hoodlums, the police had to secure their station which is what is righteous. The report was mischievously written. Also, that statement that the Area Commander allows only his friends to pass there is not true. I am a friend of his but; I have not been passing through. I usually pack my car outside there. I want the progress of this Amuwo, therefore we are friends of the police.”

Hon. Rasheed Otolori…

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