…As Edo govt. decides to rebuild razed police stations, procure new patrol vehicles – Obaseki***
Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has promised to rebuild police stations burnt during the EndSARS protest in the state.
He also pledged to provide other logistics that would make the police work better.
Makinde spoke on Monday when he visited the headquarters of the Oyo State Police Command in Eleyele.
He was at the command to sympathise with them over the death of some officers and the burning of their stations and patrol vehicles during the EndSARS protest.
The newsmen report that no fewer than five police officers were killed, 12 injured and five stations burnt during the EndSARS protest.
The governor said that the family of the officers killed during the protest would be compensated from the N500 million fund earlier announced by the government.
The fund is to cater for those who suffered losses during the protest.
“The Commissioner of Police just handed over a document to me a few minutes ago and it contains the request from the Oyo State Command of the Nigeria Police; stations that have to be rebuilt, logistics that have to be taken care of.
“I have not read it, I stand before you to say that everything listed in it for us to do has been accepted and we will do it.
” The government has set up an initial N500 million fund, the family of the policemen that were killed will be compensated from the N500 million and I pray for the souls of the departed officers,” Makinde said.
The governor said that the past few weeks had been a challenge for the Police in Oyo State and Nigeria in general, assuring that the Oyo State Government was solidly with them.
He urged the officers to put behind what had happened and go back to work so as not to allow criminal-minded individuals to take over the state.
“We need your cooperation to ensure that arsonists, anarchists are brought to book and I’m here to work with you to ensure that the burden you are carrying becomes light, ” Makinde said.
Also speaking, Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Leye Oyebade said whatever happened must not deter the officers from carrying out their constitutional responsibilities of protecting lives and property.
“We need to move forward, the statutory responsibility of the police can not be given to any other security agencies.
“Police must go back and take its rightful place and make the state calm.
“We must work together to bring heinous crime to the barest minimum and we have to work with other security agencies,” Oyebade said.
Earlier, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Nwachukwu Enwonwu, said the month of October was a sorrowful one, not only for Oyo State, but for the entire police force.
“But this does not mean that life will not continue, we have to put that behind us and ensure that the state is properly secure,” he said.
Enwonwu said that hoodlums could not be allowed to takeover the society.
“The military and other security agencies supported us and they are with us,” he said.
In the meantime, Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo, on Monday in Benin, promised that the state government would rebuild all the police stations burnt across the state during the recent EndSARS protests.
Obaseki, who gave the assurance when he paid a solidarity visit to the police command in the state, also assured that government would buy new vehicles for the smooth operations of the personnel.
“We have already ordered for patrol vehicles and we hope that the delivery will be in a few weeks. This is in addition to rebuilding all the razed police stations immediately.
“We will be responsible for the hospital bills of every policeman or woman who had been hurt as a result of the incident of the last few weeks,” he said.
The governor also promised that his administration would ensure that necessary assistance was given to the police in the state, within the limit of the available resources.
“The EndSARS protesters, whom I asked you to give protection to, were the legitimate ones, and not those attacking police stations, Oko prison and Sapele road prison and their property.
“The people, who did all these, were criminals and they should be treated as such.
“I’m here today to assure you of our support. Criminals cannot take over our state, under whatever guise. They should not intimidate you and you should not allow your morale to be dampened.
“The criminals cannot win; we know them. We have dealt with them in other places.
“They called themselves lions and tigers in the political sphere. They have so many friends who are just mere criminals; who don’t want to work hard but just to prey on those working hard in our society. We will not allow them,” Obaseki said.
He assured that government would work with the police to ensure that every inmate, who escaped from the correctional facility in the state, was re-arrested.
“They thought they had destroyed all the documents by burning down all the evidence but they didn’t realise that their biometrics data are being held out of that premises.
“We have all of them and we are going to work with you in this regard.
“We have data on their next of kin and everybody they have lived with in the past; we are going to go after everyone of them in all the communities they have lived in; we will get all of them re-arrest.
“They will not spend Christmas with us; they are going to spend it where they are supposed to spend it.
“For those who stayed behind, even when the prison gate was thrown up, I am going to look at their case files carefully. Those who should not have been there (correctional centre) in the first place, will all be given necessary debriefing.
“Let me reassure you that Edo people love and respect you all. We will support you and we are going to demonstrate that in many ways,” the governor said.
Earlier, Police Commissioner in the state, Mr Johnson Kokumo, said that 11 policemen and women were injured, seven police stations razed, 16 police patrol vehicles burnt, five police officers’ personal vehicles burnt and 31 exhibit vehicles either burnt or destroyed.
Kokumo, however, said that seven AK-47 rifles had been recovered, with 126 suspects arrested during the EndSARS protests.