The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has said that during #EndSARS crisis, over 100 AK-47 rifles were stolen by hoodlums, Police stations burnt while the fear of AK-47 roaming the street scared policemen off their beats which led to insecure of life and property in the country.
The Minister disclosed this during a meeting with Title Editors in Lagos on Friday, Alhaji Lai said less attention was paid to the barbaric and gruesome murder of security agents by hoodlums during the crisis, while everyone was fixated on the fake massacre at Lekki Toll Gate.
According to him, “Policemen were hacked down in the most gruesome manner that calls into question the sanity of their killers. Yet, these security agents were treated as sub-humans. Human rights organizations all but ignored the fact that six soldiers and 37 policemen were killed, some of them dismembered and cannibalized.
“In addition to the killing of security agents medium security custodial centres in six states (Edo, Lagos, Abia, Delta, Ondo and Ebonyi) were attacked, with 1,957 inmates, most of them dangerous criminals, set free. Add that to the fact that over 100 AK-47 rifles were stolen by hoodlums as they burnt police station after police station, and you will understand the gravity of the situation”, he said.
He added that the spectre of hoodlums, armed with AK-47, roaming the streets and the roads, will send jitters down the spine. “Now, this is hunting all of us. Wittingly or unwittingly, we have succeeded in scaring policemen off their beats.
Today, many of them are even afraid to wear their uniform. “And the result has not been pleasant, in terms of security of life and property. We all owe it a duty to empathize with and appreciate our security agents, and should resist the temptation to tar all of them with the same brush. No life is more important than the other, and respect for human rights should not be selective”, he said.
Alhaji Lai commended State governments for taken bold steps to shore up the morale of the police. “While at it, I want to remind all of us of the saying that a society that makes war against its police had better learnt to make friends with its criminals. For the record, six soldiers and 37 policemen were killed all over the country during the crisis.”Also, 196 policemen were injured;164 police vehicles were destroyed and 134 police stations burnt down.
In addition, the violence left 57 civilians dead, 269 private/corporate facilities burnt/looted/vandalized,243 government facilities burnt/vandalized and 81 government warehouses looted”, he said.
He noted that Federal Government have started a review of the whole #EndSARS crisis. “As you are aware, and in accordance wit the directive of Mr. President, Ministers have since gone back to their respective states to meet with stakeholders in the wake of the protest and its aftermath.
“This is in addition to what we are doing in meeting the media stakeholders. A Federal Government delegation has also visited the various zones to consult with stakeholders. The outcome of these consultations will feed into an overall review of the whole crisis”, he said.