Seven months after, over 20 police stations and outposts, which were burnt by hoodlums who hijacked the #EndSARS protests in different parts of Lagos State are yet to be refurbished by the government and the police high command.
Some of the burnt police stations are Orile, Igando, Okoko, Ijora-Badia, Agbara, Merian, Cement, Amukoko, Layeni, Ilasamaja, Cele outpost under Ijesha division, Ikotun, Ajah, Elemoro, Ebute-Ero, Onipanu, Pen Cinema, Makinde, Isokoko, Alade, Igbo-Elerin, Shibiri, Gbagada, Onilekere, Charly Boy Police post, Ojodu, Surulere, Makoko, Idimu, Denton, Ilemba-Hausa, Olosan, Aiyelegun police outpost under Ejigbo division, and Daleko police post.
The Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) and operatives of these divisions are still working under the canopy.
Sources told The Guardian the situation had affected the police morale, efficiency and psychology in the metropolis, as many of them operate without offices.
Security expert, Christopher Oji, said: “It is quite unfortunate that the Federal Government has abdicated its duties and left the police to the mercy of state governors. Yet, it is opposed to state police. The state governments also have their problems. Let the Federal Government be serious with the issue of security.
“It should come out to say that it has no financial capacity to fund the police. Recently, I went round police stations burnt by #EndSARS protesters in Lagos. A philanthropist donated a house to the police and the one burnt has been taken over as a toilet.
“Other stations and posts are still without repairs. The government should be serious with the Security Trust Fund that has been set up. Through the trust fund, business entities and private individuals can donate money to assist security agencies.
“As for the Lagos State Security Trust Fund, I think the COVID-19 pandemic affected the agency. Before now, it used to be active with such issues as the #EndSARS protests and burning of stations. You know that the agency is not making money on its own; it is funded by corporate agencies, businessmen and private individuals.
“Everybody has been affected by COVID-19 palaver. So, people don’t give out anymore. The government should also investigate the police affairs and police authorities to know how they utilise the money given out to them for police functions, welfare package and for equipment procurement. There is no how the police can perform with what is on the ground today.”
According to a criminologist, Prince Albert Uba, “The Nigerian governance system is noted for its static model where the federating states would normally go cap in hand to the federal or central government to survive. This is sad and should not be so. What is happening to the Nigeria Police is a reflection of a failed state.
“In saner climes, all the affected police formations by the infamous #EndSARS protest would have been fixed, but because our own system is dependent on the Federal Government for everything and anything, we are where we are today. The Nigeria Police Trust Fund has just been resuscitated and it is not clear if (a) take-off grant had been given.
“The Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF) was the harbinger to all other states security funds, and in fairness, has performed impressively well. LSSTF alone cannot provide all the logistics its police command needs because the Nigeria Police is a federal organisation.”
According to Lagos State police spokesman, Muyiwa Adejobi, “The police leadership and the Lagos State government are working assiduously on rebuilding the police stations.
“We have a particular prototype for the new model stations that the state wants to adopt. So, we will have them back, even, better, soon.”
On Thursday, October 8, 2020, nationwide protests on #EndSARS started after weeks of outrage and anger with videos and pictures showing police brutality, harassment and extortion in Nigeria.
The protests were led predominantly by young Nigerians in different cities alongside many activists and celebrities.
Defunct SARS officers were alleged to profile young Nigerians, mostly males, based on fashion choices, tattoos and hairstyles.
They were also known to mount illegal roadblocks, conduct unwarranted checks and searches, arrest and detain without warrant or trial, rape women, and extort young male Nigerians for driving exotic vehicles and using laptops and i-Phones.
Source: The Guardian