- Says, we feel your absence
- Unfolds new welfare package, modern police stations, life insurance
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has pleaded with the police to return to the roads to restore sanity to the nation’s economic capital’s highways, saying Lagosians feel the absence of the police.
Many people have in the last few days been continuously trapped in gridlock for hours as traffic police and Lagos State Traffic Management Authority officers stay away from major traffic points, either for fear of being attacked by hoodlums or protesting the killing of some of their colleagues and burning of a number of their police stations during last week’s unrest that followed the #EndSARS protest.
While the gridlock persists, some transport union members and other volunteer battle to free the roads of the heavy traffic.
And to encourage the police to return, Governor Sanwo-Olu has unveiled a new welfare package that will engender a lease of life for serving police and families of the recently killed cops while on duty.
He said the new welfare package including a life insurance cover, modern working environment and health facilities would serve as a morale booster for those still in service and stressed that their absence on the Lagos roads was felt.
The governor said all policemen killed in the violence resulting from the nationwide protests against police brutality will not die in vain, adding that their children would be given scholarship awards to ensure that they would not suffer unduly as a result of the demise of their fathers.
Sanwo-Olu has therefore directed the Lagos State Scholarship Board to award scholarships to the children to the university level.
Twenty-nine Divisional Police Stations and 17 police posts were razed by hoodlums, who disguised as protesters.
Also, six police officers were lynched, 36 critically injured, while 71 police operational vehicles were torched.
The governor made the offer when he visited the Lagos Police Command Headquarters in Ikeja.
He said the state government would also be compensating family members of the officers killed in the violence and take care of the burial arrangement of the slain officers, adding that the state would be picking up the hospital bills of those injured in the mayhem.
He said the measures were meant to boost the morale of officers, following the demoralising events of the past week in which police officers and their stations were targeted by hoodlums.
Sanwo-Olu said the statutory duties of the police could not be wished away because of the actions of a few bad eggs.
He said the state must put the event of the past week behind it and move on to restore peace.
To achieve this, police officers, he said, must regain their confidence.
He said “Commissioner of Police has come forward with a number of requests, which we will need to address to boost the morale of officers after last week’s event. As your governor, I have come here to take full responsibility for the loss you have suffered in terms of logistics. From tomorrow (Thursday), we will start implementing these requests.
“Through the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF), we will be replacing the police operational vehicles burnt in the violence. We have a bigger plan for all the police stations burnt down. We will look for the funds and build befitting stations that will set the standard of what police stations should be.
“The most important request is to offer scholarship to the children of officers that died. I have directed the Lagos State Scholarship Board under the Special Adviser on Education to immediately award scholarship to the children of the slain officers.”
The governor directed the Executive Secretary of LSSTF, Dr Rasaq Balogun, to establish the modality with the police leadership in the state.
The governor also approved the request to upgrade Police Cottage Hospital in Ikeja, directing the Commissioner for Health to inspect the facility for the required upgrade.
In addition to donating two 150KVa generating sets to the police, Sanwo-Olu said the command headquarters would be connected to the state’s Independent Power Project (IPP) for constant power supply.
The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu, said the manner with which the slain officers were murdered brought down morale in the command.
He said the police officers remained committed to their statutory responsibilities, thanking the governor for approving their requests.
The governor’s gesture, the police boss said, would restore confidence in the state’s police workforce.
Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police in charge of Research and Planning, Leye Oyebade, said the police took away valuable lessons from the EndSARS protest, noting that there was no better time to fully implement the community policing than now.
He said the protest had ended and it was time for the police to win back citizens’ confidence and trust.
“As police officers, we must now go back to the drawing board and cultivate the goodwill of the communities in which we operate. I’m particularly charging divisional police headquarters to devise strategies tailored toward your local realities and employ digital tools,” he said.
Ijaw group warns against tampering with 13 percent derivation formula
A Niger-Delta group, Ijaw People Assembly (IPA) has condemned the proposal by 59 members of the House of Representatives seeking an amendment of Section 162(2) of the 1999 Constitution.
It said the real motive was targeted at deleting the Principle of Derivation which stipulated 13% of the revenue accruing to the Federation Account from natural resources, describing the move “as an inglorious attempt and a misadventure.”
The group’s scribe, Dortimi Tawari, who spoke in a statement, yesterday, said the plan was an “invitation to chaos and eventual collapse of the Nigerian economy.”
Tawari warned the proposal was “another form of internal colonization, an attempt to strangulate and subjugate the Ijaw nation and other Niger-Delta nationalities.”
Part of the statement read: “The Ijaw nation being a host nation to oil and gas resources and assets, the IPA views this proposal as another form of internal colonization, an attempt to strangulate and subjugate the Ijaw nation in particular and the other Niger Delta nationalities.
“Need it be mentioned that it is an invitation to chaos and eventual collapse of the Nigerian economy. The ljaw People Assembly vehemently oppose a system that will drag the ljaw Nation and the other nationalities in the Niger Delta into undeserved subjugation and retrogression.”
Tawari reiterated the call for a restructured Nigeria that “guarantees resource ownership, control, management and freedom to appropriate a declared percentage of derived revenue to the central government or an arrangement of sovereign nations as the extreme option.”
He said a restructured Nigeria “will promote a productive economy and end the current monthly sharing (rentier) economy under some spurious formular which has encouraged laziness and unviability of states from which the said 59 members all hail from.”
Treat bandits as terrorists – Speakers tell President Buhari
The Conference of Speakers in Nigeria has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to declare bandits terrorists and enemies of the state.
The Chairman of the conference and Speaker, Bauchi House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Abubakar Suleiman, made the pronouncement at the end of the third quarter general meeting of the Conference of Speakers in Katsina on Saturday.
He said the call was one of the outcomes of their 5-point communique reached at the end of their deliberations.
According to the Speakers’ Chairman, they have come to realise that the mode of operations employed by the bandits is not in anyway different from that of terrorists and as such should be treated as one.
Other resolutions reached in the course of the deliberations included working out a legislative framework to complement federal government efforts in the fight against insecurity in the country.
Also, the conference resolved to come up with appropriate laws that will address the fundamental issues responsible for the insecurity experienced in the country.
The communique also harped on the need to create employment opportunities for the teeming youths as a means to curb the insecurity situation bedeviling the country.
Everything is the opposite yet Nigeria not a complete disaster – Soyinka
Nobel laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, has said Nigerians are still managing to eke out a living despite the bleak realities confronting the country.
Soyinka spoke during an interview with the Cable News Network monitored by our correspondent.
Commenting on the ironic title for his first novel in 48 years, Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth, he said things happened around one as one grew up, witnessing the degrading of dream and environment in one’s society and on the continent.
He explained that for him, the issue had been an arduous journey, adding, “It has reached such a stage, I found intuitively, that only prose fiction can handle things that have been bubbling up inside me.”
He said the title came after some people some years ago conducted a poll which placed Nigeria among the top four happiest nations in the world.
The playwright noted, “That thing has been with me, in my head. I asked, ‘Who are these people? What do they know? What have they seen? What have they experienced in Nigeria that they make such an attribution?’ That title really has been waiting to answer that claim in many ways. When you look at the surroundings, everything is the opposite and yet, Nigeria is not a complete disaster.
“People still manage to eke out a living not only a living but to some extent a dignified and satisfied living. I think it’s not surface appearance of contentment or making the best of a really bad job, insisting that no matter what life must go on… It’s that which needed to be, quote and unquote, celebrated in addition to the bleak actualities.”
The elder statesman further said he took the decision to change his former relationship if Donald Trump was elected president of the United States despite “being literally an enemy of decency and humanity’’ and his blatantly discontent for non-white humanity.
He stated, “I never really totally turned my back on the United States. I mean how could one? We have many Nigerians there, to start with. When I stroll through the streets of the United States, I sometimes think the United States is an extension of Nigeria, that it’s part of our diaspora.” That’s not an easy decision but it was inevitable.”
Commenting on the 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature awarded to Tanzanian novelist, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Soyinka said his immediate statement after the announcement was “let the African tribe expand wherever situated.”
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