AS the dust that trailed the #ENDSARS protest is gradually settling, some state governors in the country have expressed concerns over the continued absence of policemen on major streets in their various states.
Last week, Rotimi Akeredolu, the governor of Ondo State, in a statement signed by Donald Ojogo, his Commissioner of Information, raised an alarm over the absence of police officers on the streets of the state.
He pleaded with the police command in the state on the need to return to the streets for the security of all citizens.
“The general observation across the state shows a very low level of policing which is risky to society”, he said. “Of note, policing is key and can only thrive on a note of mutual trust and respect. We can all, only strive for a better society and brace up to take maximum advantage of lessons learnt from the unfortunate incidents of the last two weeks,” parts of the statement read.
“Saddening as the events appear, there is no doubt that a fresh orientation, perception of self-appraisal as well as an encouraging mood of sober reflection pervades the nation.”
His counterpart, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, on Wednesday, appealed to officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force in the state to return to their duty posts.
Ugwuanyi made the appeal when he visited the command to commiserate with the force over the loss of lives, injuries sustained and destruction of property during the #EndSARS protests hijacked by hoodlums.
A statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant, Louis Amoke, said the governor described the mayhem unleashed by miscreants and hoodlums as “an unusual and challenging period for the Police Force”.
“The self-evident low morale of the Police Force occasioned by the fallout of the #EndSARS protests have, in our judgment, increased the likelihood of crime in the state.
“I, therefore, passionately implore you to fully renew your commitment to the provision of security of lives and property in the state, as was the case before the protests.
“The good people of Enugu State had, before now, enjoyed your excellent policing service and wish that you come fully on stream and return to all the security posts in the state,” he said.
He added, “In our sensitivity to the mood and pains of the society under our watch, the state government has set up an Administrative Panel of Inquiry to determine the loss of lives and other damages.
“We have also taken time to inspect the various degrees and nature of damage arising from the hijacked protests.”
Ugwuanyi added that his administration earnestly awaited the recommendations of the panel, reiterating its commitment to implementing the same with a view to soothing the pains of security personnel and civilians who were victims of the mayhem.
The police authority in a statement on Friday rejecting reports by Amnesty International, that police officers shot at #EndSARS protesters, disclosed that 22 police personnel were extra-judicially killed during the protest while 205 police stations and formations including other critical private and public infrastructure were also damaged by hoodlums.
The developments were said to have weakened the morale of some men of the force who said they would not resume until the government addressed the killing of their colleagues during the protests.
Mohammed Adamu, Nigeria’s Inspector-General of Police, is currently on a tour to the nations police commands to boost the morale of his men and to assess the level of damages caused to police facilities across the country.