By Kayode Fasua in Abeokuta
Ogun State governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, yesterday said the two-week long #EndSARS nationwide protests against police brutality had underscored the need for the country to embrace a State Police system.
He made the observation in Abeokuta during a Stakeholders’ Meeting on #EndSARS Protests, before an audience that included a Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG), Mr. Leye Oyebade.
“Let me say that the #EndSARS protest has brought to the fore, some germane questions about our police system and administration.
“Apart from the excesses of some police officers that are under focus with the #EndSARS protest, there is also the issue of the reform and structure of the police.
“This calls for a reconsideration of the call for a State Police and Community Police apparatus,” Abiodun remarked.
The governor praised security operatives in the state, especially the police personnel, for the mature manner with which they contained the uprisings.
“I commend all our security agencies for their professionalism, restraints and maturity in handling the protest. It was a most challenging period to be a security agent, yet you all rose to the occasion,” he lauded.
He similarly showered encomiums on the youth that muted and carried out the EndSARS protests, for refusing to join the bandwagon of hoodlums who resorted to violence and looting.
“I commend our youth for their conduct before, during and after the #EndSARS protest.
“You have all demonstrated that this is the State of Omoluabi (the thoroughbred) and you are all Omoluabis.
“We are proud of you! You have become a reference point in the country of young people showing restraint and discipline, even when it was tempting to join the pattern of looting and violence as obtainable in some other parts of the country.
“You realised that any destruction of our commonwealth or even private properties diminishes us all in the long run.
“I enjoin you not to allow people from outside the state to destroy what belongs to us all or inflict harm on our state,” he prodded.
Abiodun, nonetheless, raised the alarm, saying information at his disposal indicated that some elements from outside the state were planning to provoke fresh disturbances.
“We still have reports of some people planning to cause disturbances.
“There are indications that these are not people of Ogun State but are only trying to whip up sentiments that will resonate with some uninformed youth in the state, so as to enlist them.
“I advise in their own interest that Ogun State will not be condusive for them or anyone with criminal intentions.
“Our combined teams of law enforcement agents have been put on the alert and our people should call 112 for any complaints or harassment,” he urged.