Barely a month after the #EndSARS protest against police brutality which turned bloody with loss of lives and massive destruction of property, the police, which was the main target of the mayhem is yet to recover. Policemen virtually disappeared from the public space.
The Inspector General of Police had to issue a directive asking his men to return to the streets but investigations across the country revealed that things have not returned to normal.
Policemen who are supposed to protect the residents are themselves afraid to walk freely on the streets in their uniform. Their morale is low and they are yet to regain their confidence.
In some places, criminals have taken advantage of the absence of the police which has resulted in upsurge of crimes.
Findings by Saturday Vanguard showed that police personnel are not fully back on the streets in Ondo State, and some other States for fear of possible attack.
Some of the policemen who spoke on condition of anonymity said that they still lived in fear and could not walk freely on the streets.
According to them, “after the protest many of us can’t put on our uniform and walk freely on the streets because of the fear that we may be attacked. Two of our men were killed during the protest. One was roasted alive just because the protesters saw his police uniform inside his car. What we do now is that when we leave the police station we would remove our police uniform and put on mufti to disguise”.
Speaking with vanguard, the police spokesperson in the state Tee Leo Ikoro said policemen in the state returned to their duty posts after the protests.
“We returned to our duty posts immediately after the #EndSARS carnage where we lost our men to the hoodlums. This is because we know our duty is sacrosanct and if we are off duty many people and things will be affected. We looked at the #EndSARS saga as a bye gone but as human as we are, we also felt bad about what happened and we are aggrieved over the killing of some of our officers. People expected us not to return to our duty post but we remain at out duty posts. The #EndSARS protest only energised us to do more.”
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