Bankole Taiwo, Abeokuta
Ogun state police command has said that it can’t hold back its joy as peace is gradually returning to the state after the pocket of violence that has trailed the EndSARS protests.
The police in a statement issued by the Spokesman of the state command, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi said that the gradual return of peace is evident in commercial activities that have begun to pick up across the length and breadth of the State.
The statement said the police and other security agencies cannot hold back relishing return of normalcy in the State, quickened by the peaceful conduct of a majority of the protesters and civility of security agencies even in the face of extreme provocations, loss of life and property while handling the protests.
The police said it appreciated the efforts of well-meaning indigenes of the State who prevailed on the #EndSARS protesting youths not to embark on wanton destruction of life and property in the course of the protests as the youths were held bound to law as they ventilated their grievances.
In particular, the state command appreciated numerous traditional rulers, members of Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC) Youth leaders, respected religious clerics and other critical stakeholders who helped in prevailing on the youths to make their point distinctly and emphatically without recourse to violence.
The police specifically lauded some traditional rulers and youths in Mowe, Ibafo, Obalende, Igbesa, and Ajuwon who went the extra mile of helping to defend police stations in their communities by forming rings of human shields round them.
This, the police said indeed demonstrated exemplary commitment of community leaders to the protection of common assets, legacies, and common patrimony, including police stations
The police disclosed further that it was now obvious that responsible #EndSARS protesters are no longer on the streets in the State but hoodlums, who are targeting properties of government and private individuals for looting and destruction. They are also attacking police stations for arms.
The command warmed that it would not fold its arms and allow this lawlessness to continue unchecked in the State.
The police said while law abiding citizens who are in majority have shown with the rising tempo of commercial activities in the State that they want to resume their social and economic activities, the police are determined to support them with law.
The police warned that it will therefore not tolerate deliberate blocking of highways to impede free-flow of human and vehicular movements, molestation and extortion of innocent members of the public, arson, destruction of public and private buildings, looting, and setting bonfires on the roads as this will be resisted decisively.
The security agency said it appreciated human rights activists and journalists for disassociating themselves from this act of lawlessness and brigandage adding that “you undoubtedly represented a model in human rights activism that rejects and separates violent conduct from the noble process of law and order in agitating for enhanced well-being of the citizens”.
The police said the “state command salutes your courage in continually speaking truth to anomalous situations of lawlessness by some citizens under the guise of exercising freedom of association and expression, even at the risk of your personal integrity.
“Your voice of reason should pervade the landscape now than ever before, to illustrate the fact that the person who deserves his right more is the person whose right will be affected or abrogated when the other person expresses his own right”.