By Benjamin Omoike
Reprieve may soon be coming the way of Lagosians, as Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Wednesday said the state government will set up ‘Rebuild Lagos Trust Fund’ in the aftermath of mass destruction of property in the state, following the #EndSARS protest.
He also promised that the state would offer scholarships to children of policemen killed during the EndSars protest to university level, compensate their families, foot the hospital bills of injured officers, take care of their burial expenses, replace all damaged personal and official vehicles of police officers, as well as work towards insurance policy for Lagos police officers.
The governor made the promises when he visited the Lagos Police Command, Ikeja, on an interaction with police personnel on how to police the state better.
Governor Sanwo-Olu, at the event, acknowledged and thanked the personnel for their support, while appreciating women police for their dedication to service to the people of Lagos, saying they were indeed frontliners and galant, as they were a source of joy.
He appreciated the personnel’s efforts as the interaction was how to heal the wounds, saying he takes full responsibility of what happened, adding that the government would start implementing some of their demands immediately.
“You have not been truly acknowledged, but I want to thank you. You’ve been gallant. You have shown how critical you are in our society. We might come from different backgrounds but we are all humans created by God. The Lagos State Police Command has been a delight, inspite of our differences and inadequacies. You did not create the problems, these are institutional problems. As your governor, I acknowledge what you do and what you stands for,” he told the officers.
He added: “How do we take Lagos forward? How do we heal our wounds? It’s about not looking back but looking forward. Lagos would not look back again. As your governor, I take full responsibility for what happened and has not happened. I will not shy from it. We will foot all the hospital bills of injured policemen.
“We will pay compensation to the families of deceased officers. We will take over the burial arrangements of fallen officers. We would consider replacement of your vehicles and motorcycles that have been burnt. We would look at the numbers of Lagos Policemen in Lagos as regards insurance policy.
“All the children of fallen officers would be given scholarships so they can have a decent education. We would upgrade the police cottage hospital.”
The governor warned those “using social media to foment trouble” to desist.
“I want to use this opportunity to warn those using social media to foment trouble. They are too small. We will not join issues with anybody. We are moving forward. We will heal our lands and Lagos will be better for it,” he said.
Earlier, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, in his speech, commended Governor Sanwo-Olu’s administration for its support.
He appealed to the Governor to further provide the command with security equipment, compensate families of the six personnel that lost their lives in the protests, provide insurance coverage,
free medical services for the injured, scholarships for their children, among others.
Deputy Inspector General of Police, Southwest, Leye Oyebade, said there was need to go back to the drawing board adding that the way forward was to re-address the method of policing in the country by embracing community and digital policing.
He said this was a turning point in police reformation, as it is a new era in Lagos because it is a different policing.