Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday, received the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Muhammed Adamu, at the State House in Marina on a commiseration visit.
It was the first time the Number One 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.
Six police officers were lynched in Lagos, 36 critically injured, while 46 police stations were torched.
At 1:45pm, 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 torching of their stations
The Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu has as well expressed serious concern over the wanton destruction of police stations in Lagos during the EnSARS crisis, describing it as enormous.
Adamu made the assertion during an on the spot assessment on the burnt police stations, just as he commisserated with the families of policemen that lost their lives during the unrest in the State.
The boss, who spoke with officers and men at the Lagos State Command headquarters, Ikeja, used the opportunity to boost their morale, assuring that the ongoing police reform would be of a benefit to policeman in the country.
He however congratulated the Lagos Police Command for showing restrain during the the protest even at the face of provocation.
” The fact the our officers were able to show restrain by not repelling the hoodlums has shown that no amount of provocation can make the police to be brutal against the citizens, it shows that you all are professionals.
Everyone knows that the police is the face of government in any country, as they are the first sign of authority in the country”, he emphasized.
The IGP added that the EndSARS protest started as a result of a fake news that erupted from Delta state. He said despite the fact that the five demands of the protesters were met, and meetings were held with protesters which included entertainers, musicians and others, they refused to leave the street.
“Everyone knows that if a protest stay too long , it will be highjacked and that is what eventually happened.
“We know that not everyone in the country are condemning the police because we have received calls from various people commending us, telling us they see and appreciate what we are doing.
“Not everyone in the country will agree that police is bad, we have few bad eggs but the majority are good.The police are special Nigerians in charge of the protection of the citizens and we must be treated specially,” the IGP said.
Adamu, who had earlier visited the palace of Oba of Lagos, HRM Rilwan Akiolu, but met his absence, was welcome by some white cap chiefs.
Meanwhile, Prince Adeoye Olumegbon told the IGP that the Oba is in a save place that is why he was unable to received the police boss and his entourage, saying that it was not the real staff of office of the Oba that was taken away by the hoodlums, but they still have the original one with them in the palace.
Earlier in his welcome addressed, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, CP Hakeem Odumosu also said the officers and men of the command are not coward, as they have gone back to their various formation and Stations to protect lives and properties.
The CP said they are not coward as they are ever ready to confront every situations and tackle every activities of lawlessness in the State, also due to Inspector General of police policy on Community policing. Through the community policing policy we were able to arrest some of the arsonists and the looters.
Despite the attack and burning of our stations, formations and those who died during the unrest we are not deterred, we are patrioctically, professionally and gallantly to stand before any challenges that confront us.
He said: “we have arrested five hundred and sixty suspects so far, they are currently being prosecuted in conjunction with the State ministry of Justice and alot of the looted items have been recovered, we have restored peace to the State and police presence is being felt across the state carrying out our constitutional responsibilities and businesses are also picking up and social activities are coming to is peak.
“With your presence here our spirit are high now like before, we are not coward, we are ever ready to confront the menace of hoodlums in all ramifications in the command. Through the Inspector General of police community policing, we are working the residents who have assisted us in the recovery of some of the looted items. We also recovered arms and ammunitions and alot of stolen properties.”
He further said, I want to appeal to the IGP to give posthumous promotion to the departed officers and men of the command who lost their lives during the ENDSARS protest because it will give succour to the family they left behind. So as also to boost their morale, anti-riot equipment and water cannon truck to disperse protesters during unrest period.
“During the visit of the State governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu promise to foot the bills who sustained injuries during the protest, given scholarship to the deceased children, rebuilt burnt police Stations and police posts and accepted to construct additional offices at the command.
“As a command we are calling on the Inspector General of police to commend the State government and the good people of the State for their kind gestures to us because the hands of fellowship of the government to the command is unquantifiable. We also want to reassured the IGP that all hands are on desk to make policing more visible in the State, because we are not going to deviate from the standard of policing.
“The command have put in place a strategy to rejig in policing mechanism to tackle armed robbers who may want to raise the urgly heads during the ember months which is usually characterise security challenges and it’s pertinent to say that the command didn’t record any urgly incident last year December and we can still repeat same this year again.”