Members’ safety, not #EndSARS prompted letter to Police IG, says LERSA
The Lekki Estates Residents and Stakeholders Association (LERSA) has explained it wrote a letter to the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Usman Alkali Baba, because it is concerned about the safety of its members and not due to the #EndSARS protest.
LERSA, the umbrella association of residents of the Lekki and Eti Osa communities, was responding to media reports linking the association’s stance on mandatory mental evaluation of police officers to the #EndSARS protest.
In a statement, LERSA President, Olorogun James Emadoye, recalled that the association wrote the letter to the Inspector General of Police following the recent extrajudicial killings of its members, Bolanle Raheem and Gafaru Buraimoh by operatives of the Nigerian Police.
He clarified that while reference was made to one of the recommendations of the #EndSARS protest, which aligns with the association’s stance on the need for mental evaluation of police officers, LERSA did not intend to advance the protest as suggested by a section of the media.
“The attention of the Executive Council of Lekki Estates Residents and Stakeholders Association (LERSA) has been drawn to various newspaper publications on the above letter forwarded to the Inspector-General of Police and the Governor of Lagos State. Some of the publication headlines were linked directly to ‘EndsSARS Protest’ and therefore gave an incorrect slant to our position.
“Some of the newspaper headlines may have misrepresented the letter with the #ENDSARS headlines. Though Mr. Governor is deemed the Chief Security Officer of the state, he does not have the constitutional powers to implement most of our recommendations that could have prevented the fatal shootings by the two police officers from the Ajiwe Police Division of our resident, Mrs. Omobolanle Raheem, on Christmas day at Ajah; and another resident Mr. Gafaru Buraimoh, on 6 December 2022, in the Sangotedo area of Lekki.
“The substance of our letter is directed at the Inspector-General of Police and the Police Service Commission, who are the custodians of the statutory institutions responsible for the management and control of the Nigeria Police Force,” Emadoye was quoted to have said in the statement.
The LERSA president reiterated the association’s respect for the constituted authority of Lagos State under Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, pleading with him to deploy his influence along with the Inspector General to devise a lasting solution to police brutality.
“…The intention therefore is to plead with Mr. Governor being the father of the state to facilitate a lasting solution to the challenge through the Inspector General of Police and the President/Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces in accordance with the Nigerian Constitution,” Emadoye added.