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Oshodi local council holds police, community reconciliation meeting

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• Residents lament police absence in Jakande Estate, Bucknor

Despite assurances from the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, after the killing of some officers and burning of police stations in the wake of the #EndSARS protest, some policemen in Lagos are yet to resume duties. 

In Oshodi, days after the IGP visited the ruins at Makinde police station, officials of Oshodi-Isolo Local Government Area held a reconciliation meeting as part of efforts to boost the confidence and morale of policemen attached to the station in Mafoluku.  

The meeting, chaired by the council Vice Chairman, Daisi Oso, had the Mafoluku/Ewu community represented by 20 CDA executives, and police officers of the station, led by the DPO, Francis Ebhuoma.  The vice chairman, who represented the local government chairman, Idris Bolaji Ariyoh, appealed to both parties to show empathy, love one another, and remember that they both need love to achieve peace and security in the community.  

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He said: “We should start the healing process by reaching out and extending the hand of love to one another. We all have learnt our lessons and if given the opportunity to reverse the situation, I am sure we would not go through that precarious situation again. It is not ‘”forgive and forget” as if nothing wrong had ever happened, but “forgive and go forward,” building on the mistakes of the past and the energy generated by reconciliation to create a new future.” 

He appealed to residents who are still in possession of properties that do not belong to them or know anyone in possession of such, to return them for onward transfer to the office of Special Adviser on Community Matters at the local government, while assuring that the identity of such a person would be protected.  The DPO thanked the local government for the reconciliatory meeting, saying it would re-build harmonious relationship between the police and the community, which will serve as morale booster to his men. Ebhuoma also appealed to members of the community to return some of the assets stolen to appropriate quarters as directed.  

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He enjoined the authority to expedite action in re-building the burnt station, which serves as offices to them and expressed confidence in his officers to provide adequate security for the community.  Oshodi-Isolo CDC chairman, Alhaji Olawoyin, sympathised with victims of the #EndSARS protest, and expressed hope that those with looted properties would return them. 

Meanwhile, some residents of Jakande Estate and Bucknor in Ejigbo are already losing sleep over the absence of policemen in the community after arsonists torched the Ashamu Police Post and Ejigbo LCDA secretariat  A resident, Mrs. Ngozi Abigail, said people don’t feel safe with the absence of police in the neighborhood.  “Before the recent incident, I used to close around 9:00p.m; but since the police station was burnt, I close latest by 7:00p.m as I don’t feel secured in the area without the presence of policemen.  

Another resident who noted that Ejigbo and Isheri-Oshun police stations were not torched due to the intervention of the community, told The Guardian that meetings have been ongoing in different CDAs on how to rebuild the burnt station.  “If we wait for the police to put the station in order, we may wait forever. But we are meeting with stakeholders and hopefully, before the end of the month, everything should be resolved and policemen would be back in the community.”

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