• Police boss visits Lagos governor, burnt police stations
• Police still tracking looters on social media
The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar, has vowed to ensure apprehension of all the suspects who participated in the burning and looting of police stations and private businesses in Lagos State. The IGP made this disclosure yesterday while addressing hundreds of police officers and men of the Lagos State Police Command in Ikeja.
It was the first time the IGP would be visiting Lagos after a nationwide youth demonstration against human rights violations and brutality committed by the disbanded operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
Lagos was the epicentre of the #EndSARS protests, which later snowballed into coordinated violence that led to a large-scale destruction of assets belonging to the state, federal government, police and private individuals.
According to Adamu, so far, 1,590 suspects have been arrested across the country for burning of police station and looting of government and private properties. He urged the officers not to be deterred by actions of the hoodlums in the discharge of their duties
Adamu urged policemen to go back to duty, as not all civilians hate them. “You are very special people, trained not to be provoked. We have lost lives, but we have to realise that not all the civilians attacked us. You should go back to work.
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu, told the IGP that out of the 22 policemen killed during the #EndSARS protest, six were from Lagos command, 16 police stations burnt were while 13 were vandalized and 91 policemen injured.
The police boss went on an inspection tour of some of the stations torched, including Makinde Police Station in Oshodi. He was received by the chairman, Oshodi-Isolo Local Government Area, Idris Muse Ariyoh and members of the community.
The DPO of the station, Francis Ebuoma, led the IGP to inspect the ruins of the arsonists’ attack on the station including the three blocks of eight flats behind the station.
Speaking with newsmen after the inspection, Ariyoh appreciated the police boss for his visit and sought for quick assistance to get the burnt station infrastructure back to complement the local government’s efforts in restoring security in the community.
Chairman of Oshodi Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC), Chief Femi Akeju, 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 station. He pleaded with the police boss to assist in completing the building.
Earlier, the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, also received Adamu, at the State House in Marina on the commiseration visit. At 1:45p.m., the Governor received Adamu in company of the Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, and Chief of Staff, Mr. Tayo Ayinde.
Sanwo-Olu commiserated with the police chief over the mob attacks on police personnel and burning of their stations. Despite the violence visited on the police formations by hoodlums who hijacked the protest, the governor commended the officers for exercising restraint in the face of the attacks.
Sanwo-Olu intimated the IGP on the move by the state government to rebuild the razed police stations and offer scholarship awards to the children of the officers killed in the violence.
The Governor assured Adamu that all the requests sent to the state government by the police would be fulfilled, while pledging that the state would be championing a cause to improve citizen-police relationship in order to prevent re-occurrence of the issues that led to the #EndSARS protest.
Briefing the State House press on his mission in Lagos, the IGP said he was in the state for an assessment of the police assets vandalised after the protest and to commiserate with residents.
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 the act.
“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 demoralised 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.”