For the first time since the nationwide youth demonstration against human rights violations and brutality allegedly committed by the disbanded men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, on Tuesday visited the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, at the State House in Marina.
It would be recalled that Lagos was the epicenter of the “EndSARS Protest”, which later escalated to violence that led to 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.
Sanwo-Olu commiserated with the police chief over the mob attacks on police personnel and torching of their stations.
The governor 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 relationships in order to prevent re-occurrence of the issues that led to the EndSARS protest.
Briefing newsmen on his mission in Lagos, the IGP said he was in the State for an assessment of the police assets vandalized after the protest and to commiserate with residents.
Adamu consoled the Governor and people of Lagos over the incident 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.
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.
In the IGP’s entourage were the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) in charge of Research and Planning, Leye Oyebade, his counterpart in Force Intelligence, Ibrahim Lamorde, Assistant Inspector General (AIG) in charge of Force Operations, Hosea Karma, AIG Zone 2, Ahmed Ilyasu, Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, among others.