Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde has said the families of police officers who were killed during the #EndSARS protest will be compensated from the N500 million fund his administration set aside for victims of police brutality and injustice.
The governor also promised to examine and grant the requests before him by the police command.
Makinde made the promises while addressing men and officers of the police force during a visit to the state police command at Eleyele, Ibadan, the state capital.
The governor urged the officers to forget the ugly events of previous weeks and work with the state government and other stakeholders to build the people’s trust while restoring orderliness and stability in the state.
Sympathising with the police on the death of some of its officers, the burning of police stations and other killings, Makinde said his support for the EndSARS protest should not be misconstrued as a dislike for the police but for his desire for a better society.
He said: “We have to win back the hearts of the people. The way to do it is to be professional in our conducts. I give you the assurance that together we shall win back the trust of the people.
“I want to specially thank the Oyo State Command of the Nigeria Police because Oyo is a big state and vast with over 29,000 square kilometres and the size of some states.
“From the bottom of my heart, I want to sympathise with the command. You lost five policemen. Also, about 12 policemen were injured, and you lost five police stations that were burnt down. I want to say you are not alone. The government and good people of Oyo State are with you.
Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) in charge of the Southwest, Leye Oyebade, insisted that the role of the Police Force could not be outsourced.
He urged officers to be proactive, take charge and ensure calmness across the state.
Earlier, the Commissioner of Police said: “As a matter of fact, October has come and gone. It was a bad month. It was a black month. It was a very sorrowful month, not just for Oyo State but for the entire federation. Granted that we have suffered a lot of losses in terms of buildings, burning of police stations, loss of men, vehicles, and personal belongings, that is a price one has to pay by way of what we call professional hazards.
“But that does not mean life will not continue. We have to put all that behind us and forge ahead and be sure that today, being the first working day in the month of November, that we will do our best to be sure that Oyo State will continue to be a state with one of the lowest records of crime.”
He urged Police officers to go back to their duty posts and give their best to the communities, saying: “I further want to urge each and every one of our officers here that when you leave here, you should go back in full confidence that you will give your best to the communities and your areas of responsibility.
“You should not be intimidated and you cannot abdicate your responsibility, which is that Police, as a lead security agency, cannot abandon your duty post and expect those who are not trained to do that job to come and do it for you.”
He stated that while other security services were there to support the Police as stated by the General Officer Commanding 2nd mechanized Division last week, Policemen cannot afford to shy away from their responsibilities.
The Commissioner of Police added that intimidation or harassment of the members of the public should be a thing of the past, noting that the Police would not want to hear that the fundamental human rights of the public are violated in any way whatsoever.
He added that the Police should key into one of the four pillars of the administration of Governor Makinde, which borders on security as according to him, the governor has supported the Command immensely.
He said: “He (Governor Makinde) has provided us with vehicles, telecommunications, a lot of logistics including welfare allowances to boost the morale of the officers,” Enwowu said.
Also speaking, the Garrision Commander 2 Division, Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Ogunsugba said: “You have received enough tonic to come out of your shell and do the job together. The job belongs to us and we have nobody to call apart from us. We will not sell this country or allow this country to be taken over by miscreants.
“So, please I don’t want us to start quoting one law that is outdated. The current law now is the IGP’s pronouncement, which everybody can hear clear and loud. You have been empowered to do your work.
“The other aspect is my General Officer Commander’s comment when he came here. He said you are not alone. We are with you day and night. And for those of you who are in the town, you would have been seeing us in some of your deployments. We have been patrolling together. And we have been saying that an injury to a policeman is an injury to a military man. That shows you are not alone. So, what I will tell you is to come out. It is time. Nigeria belongs to us. Oyo State belongs to all of us. We must come out to do the job.”