Hundreds of men of the Nigerian Police Force filed for resignation over what they called terribly low morale due to humiliation and burning of their stations during the crisis that erupted after thugs hijacked the recent #EndSARS protests.
Youths nationwide had marched in weeks-long protest against police ruthlessness, extortion and extra-judicial killings. The demonstration was largely peaceful but things quickly took a turn for the worse after soldiers opened fire on armless protesters at the Lekki tollgate on October 20. Hoodlums afterwards used the incident as cover to perpetrate destruction of properties, attack enforcement officers, amongst others.
A senior police officer said Nigerians dehumanised and treated policemen like animals during the protests.
Mohammed Adamu, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), has however, refused to accept the officers’ resignation, according to a reporting by The Guardian.
“There is no amount of talk that will assuage the anger of policemen. We are very angry. Many of my colleagues tendered their resignation, but they are not accepting it. The morale is terribly low. Our officers were dehumanised. Some were killed. Many of us don’t have offices anymore. Nigerians should ask us to go if they don’t need police anymore. Are we not also Nigerians? Why should we be treated like animals?” the senior officer was quoted as saying.
This is as the IGP had vowed to arrest perpetrators in Lagos with a view to restoring pride of the force.
According to him, 1,590 suspects have been arrested nationwide for arson and looting.
He spoke while addressing hundreds of personnel of Lagos State Police Command in GRA, Ikeja last week.
He had urged them not to be deterred by action of the hoodlums in the discharge of their duties.
Adamu implored the cops to resume work with open minds.
It was the IGP’s first visit after the nationwide demonstrations.
Lagos was epicentre of the #EndSARS protest which later degenerated into violence that claimed numerous private and public assets.
Six officers were lynched, 36 critically injured and 46 police stations burnt in the nation’s economic capital.
The police boss said he observed that the morale of officers had dampened in the light of the violence.
Adamu said the scale of destruction witnessed during the event called for adoption of standard protocols for public protests.
He visited some of the assets torched in the former federal capital city, including the palace of Oba of Lagos.
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