In a panic as the police, LASTMA leaves the streets of Lagos.
Lagos live in palpable fear as police officers, Federal Highway Traffic Safety Corps (FRSC) and Lagos State Traffic Administration (LASTMA) have fled the streets and districts of Lagos.
Military pockets are now visible around places where there are public goods such as the international airport, secretariat of state, multinational corporations, foreign embassies and others.
Residents of Lagos now feel insecure due to the lack of police inside the metropolis. Fear has been heightened by recent robberies and fires at police stations, where weapons and ammunition have been taken away.
Joshua Oladipo said: “Today (Monday) I left home to go to the office and I could not find any law enforcement officers at work in Lagos. It’s a serious risk if the thugs can still see law enforcement absent with curfew easing.
“I fear the next wave of instability is looming in the state as police weapons fell into the wrong hands after many police stations were attacked and vandalized last week. This is in addition to the confusion and traffic congestion due to the lack of feared LASTMA officers. “
At least 25 police militias were wiped out and five more were vandalized in Lagos during the riots that followed last week’s #EndSARS protests. This includes 14 divisions, three teams and three barracks.
However, over the weekend, the police command said it had begun taking an inventory of the damage, including the exact number of people killed and injured in the violence. According to reports, 40 police officers were injured and the number of those killed has not yet been established. Nineteen of the injured police officers reportedly were agents of the State Rapid Response Unit (RRS).
Some police officers who confessed to The Guardian expressed disappointment with the way they were treated by their compatriots. Some of them are clearly depressed and heartbroken. It is said that it will take a long time to restore citizens’ confidence in the police.
One of them, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “You said that the soldiers are more civilized than the police, now we have left you in the hands of the soldiers. I don’t want to talk anymore. “
Another said: “I am ashamed and sorry that they call me a policeman. Nobody counts the number of cops killed in all this mess. Aren’t we human? Don’t we have the right to live? “
Police sources said the bandits did not spare the police, as several of them were victims of their attack. One of them said: “We are in mourning. We are suffering. They killed our men, our women and even wounded many others. Many of the wounded are still in the hospital. It was not a pleasant experience. “
However, some police officers have come up with peace initiatives. One of them is the commander of the Lagos State Rapid Response Team (RRS), DCP Tunci Disu. Disu began to pacify young people in parts of Lagos, urging them to peace and avoid violence.
Members of the Odua People’s Congress (OPC) and local vigilantes are now being recruited in some areas to protect communities and police forces.
Since then, Normal has returned to the Lekki Aja area of Lagos as passengers and locals now move almost unhindered along the road. Passengers were seen yesterday passing through toll stations across the Admiralty and the Ikoy-Link Bridge to various destinations.
For more than two weeks, protesters blocked toll collection points, protesting police brutality and urging the government to accept their demands at five points.
Last week, on Tuesday, protesters were dispersed after a shooting that left many injured following a 24-hour curfew imposed by the state’s governor, Babajide Sanvo Olu.
Some residents expressed joy that the crisis was over and called on the state government to ensure the safety of its citizens. They noted that while life is gradually returning to normal, the rise in crime, robbery and banditry is a concern.
Highlighting this fiasco, Aisha Tosan, security consultant and chief executive officer of Crime Fighters, said: “The organizers of the #EndSARS protest should have taken into account the vulnerability of Lagos’ environment given that Lagos is teeming with children from the area. The burden of ensuring that these groups of people are not distracted by the protest was their responsibility. ”
Former DSS head Dennis Amahri told the Guardian it was time to overhaul and rebuild the police system. He said: “Looking at the current police system in the country, we see that this system is no longer useful in modern Nigeria. It is definitely time for the state police, as evidenced by the president’s directive to state governors to restore peace to their states.
“The structure of the police has remained the same, without taking into account all the new problems and threats that arise due to problems with the organization of the police, and, of course, the sophistication of the criminals in the country was not taken into account.
“Some steps or improvements have been made in the police, but at the same time, these specific innovations do not meet the requirements of the day. I know that with one crime, the police were able to form other units like SARS. “
Source: – Guardian ng