EDO, Nigeria – The State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has urged the Nigeria Police to forget the scars that followed protest against police brutality and other related issues of concern so that they can secure the state from criminals as a matter of moral obligation and rules of engagement.
The governor made the appeal while addressing police officers and men at police headquarters on Monday in Benin City, the state capital.
He said it will be risky to allow criminal elements to celebrate yuletide with the lawful residents in the state.
He implored the police personnel not to let him down by shying away from their responsibility of protecting lives and property and allow criminal elements who latched on the legitimate End SARS protest to destroy public, private asset and cause mayhem to have a field day and plunge the State into chaos during “this dark phases of nationhood”.
While requesting for police authorities in the state to submit their memoranda to the panel of inquiry to look into cases of police brutality and other related matters, Obaseki promised to reconstruct police formations that were either burnt or vandalized by hoodlums during the violent protest and pick up the medical bills of security personnel who were injured in the State.
The governor promised to assist the security operatives whose morale had been dampened by activities of hoodlums to heal up, and provide logistics support such as operational vehicles and working targets for the police, which he said was in need of reform and encouragement.
He further appealed to residents of the state to provide useful information that will lead to the arrest of fleeing prisoners who escaped from detention facilities including the jail break at the Nigerian Correctional Centres on Sapele road and Oko in Benin City on October 19, 2020.
“Edo people are with you. Despite what has happened since the past few weeks, it is quite unfortunate. It is unfortunate in the sense that we saw it, but we did not take steps to address it.
“We pray that God Almighty will see you through these dark phases of our lives. The police is our friend, it is not perfect. Edo police Command, don’t fall my hand. Are you not going back to the Street to go after these criminals?”, he asked.
On his part, the Commissioner of Police in Edo State, Mr. Johnson Kokumo, who conducted the governor round some Departments in the State Police Command, recalled the modest achievements of the personnel and arrest.
He also drew the Governor attention to the challenges that are hindering police operations in the State under his watch.
The governor was accompanied by his Deputy, Comr. Philip Shaibu, Secretary to the State Government (SSG) on the visit.