Christopher Oji, Lagos
Residents of Festac Town, Lagos State, over the weekend hailed police in the area for the security measures put in place that helped forestall attempts to burn down a local station during and after the #EndSARS protests that led to the killing of officers and burning of many police stations across Nigeria.
The commendation came amidst reports by some residents that the police in Festac barricaded a major road thereby subjecting people to untold hardship. However, the residents who spoke to reporters stated that there was no iota of truth in the report adding that rather, the only barricade at the road leading to the station was a security measure put in place to check attempts by hoodlums and Okada riders to invade the station.
Hon John Adewunmi Ogunshino, the Councilor representing Ward K, Amuwo Odofin, Local Government Government Area, where the office of the Area Commander is situated, told reporters that the #EndSARS protest was a big uprising within the community. ‘In fact, we needed to chase them out of this community and make sure they did not destroy the police station. Their major aim during the protest was to destroy the police station. So, we needed to chase the hoodlums away because that it is what we have, and the only way we could do it was to come out en-mass based on the excellent relationship we have with the Area Commander,’ he said.
‘The Area Commander handled the issue professionally to the delight of all and the station was spared.
‘As a Councilor in the community, we discussed the issue of blocking a section of the road leading to the station and we are highly in support of it. It is not the only road that leads to FESTAC. There are many roads but they are in bad condition. Nobody should use the road that passes in front of the station as an excuse for not doing his job as a government. This is because security should be paramount in whatever we are doing and that’s exactly what the police in our area have done.’
In his comment, former Chairman of Amuwo-Odofin LGA, Rasheed Otolori, stated that: ‘What happened was that the police station was being threatened and it was incumbent on the Area Commander to take action. The road blocked is not a major one. There are about four outlets in and out of Festac. When the council headquarters and police station were being threatened at the time of #EndSARS hijacked by hoodlums, the police had to secure their stations.