The Inspector-General of Police, Muhammed Adamu, on Tuesday lamented the extent of damage caused by hoodlums who attacked police officers and stations in the wake of the #EndSARS protests.
The police chief made the observation when he visited the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, at the State House in Marina.
Speaking to journalists during the visit, the IGP said he was in Lagos for an assessment of the police asset vandalised after the protest and to commiserate with residents.
According to official records, six police officers were lynched in Lagos, 36 critically injured, while 46 police stations were torched.
In a press statement signed by Mr Sanwo-Olu’s Chief Press Secretary, Gboyega Akosile, the governor commiserated with the police chief over the mob attacks on police personnel and vandalisation of their stations.
“Sanwo-Olu 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 statement read.
The statement quoted Mr Adamu as saying: “Lagos was the epicentre 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 demoralised 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 chief said the scale of the destruction witnessed across Nigeria showed that there is 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 organised with good intentions,” he said.
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“The moment the protest organisers 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.”