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Panic Over Police Absence On Roads

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LAGOSIANS have expressed worry over the continued absence of policemen on major roads and streets in the state.

For instance, many vehicles stationed at flashpoints in different parts of the state to ensure police presence, have been removed.

A drive round Lekki area of Lagos showed that police vans usually stationed at the Lekki Phase 1 and 2, Ikate and Ajah areas, had disappeared. Also, the Armoured Personnel Carriers, APCs, usually stationed at flashpoints, were not seen.

Areas like Mile-Two Oke, Cele, Isolo and Toyota bus-stops had no police presence as it used to be before the attacks on policemen and police formations by hoodlums who hijacked the #EndSARS protests.

Commuters plying the Mile-2/Badagry expressway are the worst hit at the moment as traffic robbers dispossess them of cash, telephones and other valuables, daily.

In some areas, hoodlums extort Lagosians who could not beat the 8pm to 6 am curfew time because of traffic.

Police lost 70 vehicles during protests

Investigation by Vanguard also revealed that the regular midnight patrols of areas by Police divisions have also ceased, thereby giving room to rogues to operate unhindered.

However, absence of the midnight patrols was attributed to shortage of vehicles to carry out this routine duty, as the command had over 70 of its vehicles burnt and destroyed by hoodlums during the riots.

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Also absent from the roads are officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, and the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, who complement the Police in traffic control.

As at yesterday, some officials of the Lagos State Neighborhood Safety Corps, LNSC, were seen controlling traffic at some points, including members of the National Youths Service Corps, NYSC, and community youths.

At Pako, Oke-Afa area of the state, some community youths were seen with sticks and other hard objects which were used on defiant motorists. Before their arrival Wednesday night, motorists were trapped for close to three hours at the junction, as everyone attempted to outsmart one another.

We lost 13 vehicles, 4 badly vandalised – FRSC

The FRSC attributed the absence of its officials on Lagos roads to lack of vehicles to carry out the function, revealing that it lost 13 operational vehicles in Lagos State alone, on October 24, with four others badly vandalized.

It, therefore, posited that no organisation would like to put the lives of its staff on the line given the situation on ground.

In addition, it was further revealed that FRSC officials were scared of being attacked by hoodlums again, since they unlike the police are not armed.

FRSC Spokesman, Asst. Corps Marshal, Bisi Kazeem, said the organisation was scaling down its operations due to the recent attacks. He explained that “what we are doing presently is rescue operations. Every staff is on standby for rescue.”

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We are still working– DPOs

Nevertheless, some Divisional Police Officers, DPOs whose stations were burnt, told Vanguard that their men were still working.

One of them said: “Why won’t we work? The attack is not the end of the job, it is one of its hazards. The only thing is that some of our men wear mufti to control traffic and when you see them, you would not know they are policemen. This is because their uniform were burnt when the hoodlums invaded the station and you don’t expect them to sew these uniform in a hurry.

‘’Again, what we did was to rotate the regular faces that control traffic, so as to avoid a situation where they may be recognized and possibly attacked. But we are working because the Commissioner of Police has told us to go back to work.’’

OPC at work

In the face of the panic, some Lagos communities have hired the services of members of the Oduua Peoples Congress, OPC, to checkmate crimes. Vanguard reliably gathered that these OPC members assisted in the arrest of some hoodlums, who partook in the attacks on policemen and invasion of some COVID-19 warehouses, where palliatives were carted away. Some of them were apprehended with items looted from malls in Surulere and other parts of the state and handed over to the Police for prosecution.

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We have returned to work – CP Odumosu

Contacted, the Lagos Police Commissioner, Hakeem Odumosu, insisted that his men had returned to work

His words:” Our men are fully on the road. We have a strategy of early morning patrol. As early as 5am, area commanders patrol their jurisdictions so that if they (hoodlums) decide to come out in the morning, we would be there before their arrival. It is a strategy that has worked for us

“Policemen in the command are not cowed. Our spirits have been lifted. The Inspector-General of Police has spoken to us and I have spoken to all my men in the command. There is no more the issue of fear. We are out. I therefore urge Lagosians to feel free to call on policemen if they have any complaint.

“Even in areas where police stations were burnt, policemen are still there because we are making makeshift offices for them. Security of such areas should not be jeopardized because some miscreants may want to hijack the situation to attack people. We are making chairs, tables and even canopies available. We will not abandon people living in areas where police formations were burnt. We must provide them with security.”

 

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FG Petitions CNN Over investigative Report On Lekki Shooting, Threatens Action

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The Federal Government has written a petition to the US-based Cable News Network (CNN), demanding an immediate and exhaustive investigation into its report on the Lekki Tollgate shooting, to determine its authenticity and conformity to basic standards of journalism.

The government berated CNN for its investigative report on the #EndSARS protest in Lekki area of Lagos, pointing out that the media outfit breached the most basic of the core principles of journalism – balance and fairness.

In the petition written by the Minister for Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, to Jonathan Hawkins, VP (Communications) in CNN Centre Atlanta, Georgia; the government said that if the international media organization does not carry out its demand, it will take any action within its laws to prevent CNN from making the #EndSARS crisis worse.

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According to a report from Mouthpiece NGR, the government’s letter dated November 23, 2020, is titled “Re: How a bloody night of bullets quashed a young protest movement”.

The letter reads

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FG Will Replace Properties Destroyed By Hoodlums, SGF Assures FRSC

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Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha has assured the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) that all the properties of the corps that were destroyed by hoodlums at the aftermath of the ENDSARS protest would be replaced by the federal government.

Speaking on Thursday in Abuja when he visited the Corps to inspect some of the vehicles and bikes recently purchased, he noted that about Eight Commands across the country were affected as well as 28 vehicles.

Lagos: Ijanikin office of FRSC, VIO set ablaze by hoodlums
He said the federal government would look into the plight of the corps and ensure that the vehicles were replaced to enable the officers carry out their activities effectively.

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Mustapha noted that during the yuletide, officers of the corps would be needed to help protect the highways and ensure it was safe for motorist to travel on.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha

On his part, Corps Marshal of the corps, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi said the vehicles that were procured would be given to states and commands that got affected by the hoodlums attack before others commands can get theirs.

He said about 16 patrol vehicles were procured alongside some ambulances and towing trucks hence, the towing trucks would be deployed to Lagos State due to the traffic nature of the state.

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#EndSARS: Ooni Of Ife Lauds Muslim Community For Its Role For Restoration And Sustenance Of Peace In The Country.

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By Yahaya Idris, Osun.

….. Hosts Leagues Of IMAMS President, says ‘Peace has no substitute’

The Arole Oduduwa & Oon of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II, on Wednesday hosted the President General, League of Imams and Alfas from South-West region of Edo and Delta States respectively, Imam Jamiu Kewulere, at his Ile-Oodua Palace, Ile Ife.

In a statement Signed and made available to Journalists in Ile Ife Osun State by Comrade Moses Olafare, Director, Media & Public Affairs, Ooni’s Palace, said Critical national issues affecting the country including the #EndSARS protests which was hijacked by hoodlums were fully discussed in the interest of the country.

According to the statement, Ooni Ogunwusi, the Spiritual Leader of the entire Oduduwa Race worldwide who is also the Co-Chairman of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria(NCTRN), lauded the Muslim community for its role in the restoration and sustenance of peace in the country, adding that peace has no substitute.

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“The kind of peace we enjoy in the South-West is unique to us in that it amazes people of other parts of the country how we live harmoniously regardless of our religious differences.

“I am impressed by your good works and those great moves you planned to move for the development of Nigeria and I am ready to join you because I am for peace and tranquility. We are also working with Christian Associations and practitioners of traditional religions too and the response is the same, they are for peace too.” Ooni Ogunwusi said.

President League of Imam and HRM. Ooni Of Ile Ife, Arole Oduduwa & Oon of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II

on his part, Imam Kewulere who was flanked by top clerics across the region described the Ooni as an unequaled peace ambassador, who makes the supposed hard responsibility of peace keeping easy in the country.

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“I wish to request your Majesty to convoke a meeting of the forum of all prominent Yoruba political leaders, religious leaders from both the Christian and Muslim circle and leading traditional leaders in Yoruba land as urgent as possible.

“The convocation should be made to deliberate and discuss the present state of events in Nigeria especially as it affects the Yoruba. It should also be part of the forum’s task to proffer solutions and way out to the seeming looming crisis.

“Kabiyesi, as much as I know that you are making frantic efforts towards the projection of Yoruba race, the time has come for all the Yoruba opinion leaders to sincerely and genuinely come together to address issues affecting the country and that of the Yoruba race in particular. The convocation of the forum of opinion leaders being proposed herein will go a long way to proffer solutions to some of the societal ills such as the ones that precipitated the recent #EndSARS protests.” The cleric requested.

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