As peace, law and order have been restored to Ogun State after weeks of #EndSARS protests and hoodlums’ rage, the State Police Command has expressed appreciation to traditional rulers and youths who rose to defend police stations in their communities by forming rings of human shields around them.
The command also commended Police-Community Relations Committee members, youth leaders, religious clerics and other critical stakeholders for prevailing on the protesting youths to make their point distinctly and emphatically without recourse to violence.
A statement issued on behalf of the Police Commissioner Edward Awolowo Ajogun, a graduate of Political Science from the University of Ibadan, said: “It is gratifying to note that peace is gradually returning to the Gateway State, the Ogun State, as evident in commercial activities that have begun to pick up across the length and breadth of the State.
“The Command and other security agencies cannot hold back relishing return of normalcy in the State, quickened by the peaceful conduct of a majority of the protesters and civility of security agencies even in the face of extreme provocations, loses of life and property while handling the protests.
“With a sense of joy and tremendous relief, Ogun State Police Command once again appreciates the efforts of well-meaning indigenes of the State who prevailed on the #Endsars protesting youths not to embark on wanton destruction of life and property in the course of the protests.
“The youths were held bound to law as they ventilated their grievances. The Command salutes the cherished history of assertive but non-violent approach to settling issues with government and at individual levels that marks out Ogun State as one of the most peaceful States in the country.
“In particular, the Command appreciates numerous traditional rulers, PCRC members, youth leaders, respected religious clerics and other critical stakeholders who helped in prevailing on the youths to make their point distinctly and emphatically without recourse to violence.
“Obas and youths in Mowe, Ibafo, Obalende, Igbesa, and Ajuwon even went the extra mile of helping to defend police stations in their communities by forming rings of human shields round them.’’
“This indeed is an exemplary commitment of community leaders to the protection of their common assets, legacies, indeed common patrimony, including police stations. The Command can never thank them enough,’’ the statement signed by DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, the command’s Public Relations Officer, said, a copy of which was obtained by Persecondnews.
The command said it is now obvious that responsible #Endsars protesters are no longer on the streets in the state, noting that hoodlums, brigands and miscreants alike, pretending to be #Endsars protesters, have taken over the space.
“They are targeting properties of government and private individuals for looting and destruction. They are also attacking police stations for arms.
“The Command will not fold its arms and allow this lawlessness to continue unchecked in the State. Law abiding citizens who are in majority have shown with the rising tempo of commercial activities in the State that they want to resume their social and economic activities.
“Therefore, since law is still working in Ogun State, we are determined to support them with law. Consequently, the Command will no longer tolerate deliberate blocking of highways to impede free-flow of human and vehicular movements, molestation and extortion of innocent members of the public, arson, destruction of public and private buildings, looting, and setting bonfires on the roads. This will be resisted decisively.
“We also appreciate the very distinct forthright human rights activists and journalists for disassociating themselves from this act of lawlessness and brigandage.
“Undoubtedly, you represent a model in human rights activism that rejects and separates violent conduct from the noble process of law and order in agitating for enhanced well-being of the citizens,’’ the statement stressed.
It added:“The Command salutes your courage in continually speaking truth to anomalous situations of lawlessness by some citizens under the guise of exercising freedom of association and expression, even at the risk of your personal integrity.
“Your voice of reason should pervade the landscape now than ever before, to illustrate the fact that the person who deserves his right more is the person whose right will be affected or abrogated when the other person expresses his own right. It is well with Ogun State.’’