Obaseki pledges to rebuild destroyed police stations, pay officers hospital bills, others
• Panel of inquiry receives nine petitions, holds inaugural sitting tomorrow
• Edo youths to embark on cleanup ahead of governor’s inauguration
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has urged the state Police Command not to allow recent incidents that followed the #EndSARS protests in the state to demoralise them, but draw lessons from them and rebuild public confidence and trust.
Obaseki, who spoke with top police officers in Benin City, assured that his administration would continue to support security operatives in the discharge of their duties, especially the protection of life and property.
The governor, who visited the Edo State Police Command to boost officers’ morale, said: “The state government will rebuild all destroyed facilities. We have already ordered patrol vehicles and we hope the deliveries will be made in the next few weeks.
“We will pay the hospital bills of police officers, who was hurt as a result of the incident of the last few weeks. Above all, we will ensure that we give necessary assistance that we can, within the limits of available resources.
“The legitimate #EndSARS protesters, who I asked you to protect are not the ones who attacked the police stations, the Oko and Sapele Road prisons. They were not the ones that attacked police and their property.”
Obaseki stressed that those who unleashed mayhem on the state were criminals and they should be treated as such, and assured of the state government’s support, insisting that criminals would not be allowed to take over Edo State under whatever guise.
He assured the officers that the state government would work with them to re-arrest inmates that escaped from the correctional facilities, adding: “Criminals should not intimidate you and don’t allow them to lower your morale.”
Responding, Commissioner of Police (CP), Johnson Kokumo, disclosed that 11 police officers were injured, seven police stations and 16 police patrol vehicles burnt, five police officers’ personal vehicles and 31 exhibit vehicles were destroyed during the #EndSARS protests.
Kokumo added that seven AK-47 rifles were recovered and that no fewer than 126 suspects have so far been arrested in connection with the #EndSARS demonstrations.
MEANWHILE, the Judicial Panel of Inquiry set up by Governor Obaseki to review cases of police brutality, human rights violations and extra-judicial killings by operatives of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) said it has received nine petitions from members of the public.
Chairman of the 22-man panel, Justice Ada Ehigiamusoe (rtd.), who addressed journalists in Benin City, yesterday, assured that the committee would investigate all complaints and petitions brought before it, adding that the panel would commence sitting on Thursday, November 5, 2020.
She assured that the panel would make recommendations to the state government on how to ensure that security agents no longer abuse the rights of citizens.
MEAHWHILE, ahead of Governor Obaseki’s inauguration for a second term in office, youths in the state will on Saturday, November 7, 2020 embark on a statewide clean up exercise.
The exercise, which would hold in the 18 council areas of the state, would see youths clear debris and other rubble created during the #ENDSARS protests in the state.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie, said in a statement in Benin City that the exercise was intended to positively engage youths in the cleanup of the state, as necessary logistics would be provided for the exercise.