In recognition of their contribution to protection of lives and property in Lagos, the State Government has disclosed plans to place Nigerian Police officers deployed to the state on life insurance.
It added that placing the officers on life insurance was the best gift the government could give the law enforcement officers that often place their lives to ensure Lagosians get adequate security.
The State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, announced the plan when he visited the Command Headquarters in Ikeja to boost the morale of officers, following the demoralising events of the past week in which police officers and their stations were targeted by hoodlums.
Sanwo-Olu, on Wednesday, directed the Executive Secretary of Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF), Dr. Rasaq Balogun, to establish needed modality with the police leadership in the State to ensure the actualization.
Aside from that, the governor also directed Lagos State Scholarship Board to award scholarship to the children of the six slain officers up to the university level.
He added that the State Government would also be compensating family members of the officers killed in the violence and take care of the burial arrangement of the slain officers, adding that the State would also be picking up the hospital bills of those injured in the mayhem.
According to the governor, police officers lynched in the wake of the violence instigated by the nationwide youth demonstration against police brutality will not die in vain.
Also, 36 police officers sustained critical injuries, while 71 police operational vehicles were torched, 29 Divisional Police Stations and 17 Police Posts were razed by hoodlums that were disguising as protesters kicking against brutality and extra-judicial killings in the country.
The Governor got the assurance of the police’s commitment to strengthen security across the State from the Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu.
Sanwo-Olu said the statutory duties of the Police could not be wished away because of the actions of a few bad eggs, noting that the impact of the police officers’ absence on the roads was generally felt by residents.
He said the State must put the event of the past week behind it and move on to restore peace across the communities. To achieve this, police officers , he said, must regain their confidence.
He said: “Commissioner of Police has come forward with a number of requests, which we will need to address to boost the morale of officers after the last week’s event. As your Governor, I have come here to take full responsibility for the loss your have suffered in terms of logistics. From tomorrow (Thursday), we will start implementing these requests.
“Through the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF), we will be replacing the police operational vehicles burnt in the violence. We have bigger plan for all the police stations burnt down. We will look for the funds and build befitting stations that will set the standard of what police stations should be.
“The most important requests is to offer scholarship to the children of officers that died. I have directed the Lagos State Scholarship Board under the Special Adviser on Education to immediately award scholarship to the children of the slain officers.”
The Governor also approved the request to upgrade Police Cottage Hospital in Ikeja, directing the Commissioner for Health to inspect the facility for the required upgrade.
In addition to donating two 150KVa generating set to the police, Sanwo-Olu said the Command Headquarters would be connected to the State’s Independent Power Project (IPP) for constant power supply.
He said: “The reform that you truly desire is starting today. The reform which the youths had clamoured for through the EndSARS protest is taking off and we will continue to engage the police on how to improve on what we have started. We will take up this cause with the objective to effect desired change and we will approach the high authorities for the requests that are not in our control.
“I will be leaving you with the thought that you all have responsibility to secure lives and properties. Your uniform is not for oppression; it is a symbol of dignity and discipline. You must protect the fundamental rights of all citizens without compromising ethics of your duty. It is only when you do this that the citizens would see that we have a Police that is truly responsible.”
Sanwo-Olu said the State would be championing the cause to improve citizen-police relationship to prevent re-occurrence of the issues that led to the EndSARS protest.
Odumosu said the manner with which the slain officers were murdered brought down morale in the Command. He said the police officers remained committed to their statutory responsibilities, thanking the Governor for approving their requests
The gesture, the police boss said, would restore confidence in the State’s police workforce.
Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police in charge of Research and Planning, Leye Oyebade, said the Police took away valuable lessons from the EndSARS protest, noting that there was no better time to fully implement the community policing than now.
He said the protest had ended and it was time for the police to win back citizens’ confidence and trust.
He said: “As police officers, we must now go back to the drawing board and cultivate the goodwill of the communities in which we operate. I’m particularly charging divisional police headquarters to devise strategies tailored toward your local realities and employ digital tools.”
Top police officers, who attended the meeting with the Governor, included the Assistant Inspector General (AIG) in charge of Zone II, Ahmed Ilyasu, all Deputy Commissioners of Police and all the 14 Area Commanders across the State.
Also, all the 110 officers in charge of all Divisional Police Stations and heads of the 56 Police Departments across the State.