Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu yesterday pledged that police officers lynched in the wake of the violence that erupted last week in the State will not die in vain.
At a visit to the Lagos Police Command Headquarters, Ikeja, on Wednesday, the Governor announced the award of scholarship to the children of the slain officers up to the university level.
“The most important request is to offer scholarship to the children of officers that died. I have directed the Lagos State Scholarship Board under the Special Adviser on Education to immediately award scholarships to the children of the slain officers,” he said during his interaction with police personnel on ways to police the state better.
Sanwo-Olu also said the state government will take the bill of replacing the logistics lost by the police to boost the morale of officers, adding that the statutory duties of the Police could not be wished away because of the actions of a few bad eggs, noting that the impact of the police officers’ absence on the roads was generally felt by residents.
The State Police Command had borne huge loss in personnel, armoury and properties in the violence. Twenty-nine Divisional Police Stations and 17 Police Posts were razed by hoodlums, six police officers were lynched, 36 critically injured, while 71 police operational vehicles were torched.
Sanwo-Olu said the State must put the event of the past week behind it and move on to restore peace across the communities. To achieve this, police officers, he said, must regain their confidence.
He said: “Commissioner of Police has come forward with a number of requests, which we will need to address to boost the morale of officers after last week’s event. As your Governor, I have come here to take full responsibility for the loss you have suffered in terms of logistics. From tomorrow (Thursday), we will start implementing these requests.
“Through the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF), we will be replacing the police operational vehicles burnt in the violence. We have a bigger plan for all the police stations burnt down. We will look for the funds and build befitting stations that will set the standard of what police stations should be.”
Sanwo-Olu added that family members of the officers killed in the violence will be compensated and the State would also be picking up the hospital bills of those injured in the mayhem.
The Governor also promised that Police officers serving in Lagos will get life insurance from the state as he had directed the Executive Secretary of LSSTF, Dr. Rasaq Balogun, to establish the modality with the police leadership in the State.
He said: “The reform that you truly desire is starting today. The reform which the youths had clamoured for through the EndSARS protest is taking off and we will continue to engage the police on how to improve on what we have started. We will take up this cause with the objective to effect desired change and we will approach the high authorities for the requests that are not in our control.
“I will be leaving you with the thought that you all have responsibility to secure lives and properties. Your uniform is not for oppression; it is a symbol of dignity and discipline. You must protect the fundamental rights of all citizens without compromising the ethics of your duty. It is only when you do this that the citizens would see that we have a Police that is truly responsible.”
Sanwo-Olu said the State would be championing the cause to improve citizen-police relationships to prevent re-occurrence of the issues that led to the EndSARS protest.