Hakeem Odumosu, the Commissioner of Police for Lagos State, Nigeria’s commercial capital, today met with the Area Commanders, and Heads of security department over the ongoing #ENDSARS protest.
Odumosu urged officers and men of the force to be calm, professional and avoid unnecessary confrontation that can trigger crisis in Lagos.
Speaking on the killings in Surulere area of Lagos, during the protest on Monday, the Commissioner of Police assured Lagosians that proper investigation will be instituted and anyone found guilty will be brought to book.
Odumosu’s meeting with top police bosses in Lagos comes a day after the country’s Inspector General of Police, M.A. Adamu announced the replacement of the dissolved Special Anit-robbery Squad (SARS), with a new police unit called Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team that will fill the void left behind from the dissolution of the now defunct SARS.
In a press statement issued by the Force Public relations officer, DCP Frank Mba, the IGP said Prospective members of this new team will undergo psychological and medical examination to ascertain their fitness and eligibility for the new assignment.
Nigerian youths on the other hand say they are still not satisfied with the changes and development being promised by the Nigerian Police and the Federal Government as protesters still came out in large number despite heavy downpour.
Umbrellas and raincoats were distributed amongst the protesters as they carried signs with the hashtag #endsars and #sarsmustgo. Notable Nigerian artistes and celebrities home and abroad have identified with the protest which has now gained international attention.
SARS, which stands for Special Anti-Robbery Squad, is a unit of the Criminal Investigations Department under the Nigerian Police Force. Over the years, the unit has been accused of committing several offences such as harassment, extortion, brutalization, unlawful arrests and abduction, armed robbery, as well as extrajudicial killings.
Eight Die in Communal Clashes in Ebonyi State, Southeast Nigeria
The Police in Ebonyi State, southeast Nigeria say no fewer than eight people have died in clashes between two communities in the area.
Commissioner of Police in the state, Aliyu Garba, said over 60 people were arrested over the clashes between Effium and Ezza Effium communities in Ohaukwu Local Government Area in Ebonyi.
Garba made the disclosure on Sunday during a joint security operation, which included the state Deputy Governor, Dr Kelechi Igwe, to the affected areas.
Garba, while stating that normalcy had returned to the communities, also confirmed that about eight houses, including a petrol station, were burnt.
“The crisis was fuelled by a leadership tussle at the area’s branch of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, involving old and new executives.
“The police have ensured adequate security and I doubt if anything would breach the peace in the areas again,” he said.
The police commissioner said that the presence of a joint security operation in the area will send a signal to the perpetrators of the dastardly acts that the force was ‘on ground’.
“It will also avert a re-occurrence of the clashes, and after investigations, the suspects will appear in court for prosecution.
“I can also confirm the arrest of stakeholders from the areas and anyone found culpable will be duly prosecuted,” he said.
Also speaking, Mr Stanley Okoro-Emegha, the Commissioner for Border, Peace and Internal Security, commended the police, saying that their proactive response had helped in restoring normalcy to the areas.
“The commissioner of police has shown that he meant business, as he pleaded with the leaders and the people to allow peace reign, but unfortunately, they did not heed to the advice.
“We conducted a joint operation, which led to the arrest of the suspects. Even those in government, who were involved in the crisis, will be duly prosecuted,” he said.
He chided those giving political colouration to the clashes, noting that government had shown enough resolve to duly prosecute the culprits, no matter their political affiliations.
The deputy governor, however, called for calm, saying that government would ensure that the situation was permanently nipped in the bud.
Six Soldiers Killed in Twin Attacks by Suspected Extremists in Mali
The attacks occurred at Boulkessy and Mondoro, two areas that have witnessed heavy violence in Mali.
The Malian military said on Sunday, that six of its soldiers have been killed in twin attacks that occurred overnight while some 30 suspected extremists were also left dead in response.
The attacks ocurred near the country’s border with Burkina Faso at army positions that have been targeted in the previously been targeted, with a deadly extremist offensive having begun in northern Mali in 2012 before spreading to other regions.
In a statement, the army said “the provisional toll is six dead and 18 wounded” among the soldiers. The army added that the attacks prompted a response which left “around 30 dead on the terrorist side”.
The twin attacks occurred at Boulkessy and Mondoro, two areas that have witnessed heavy violence in Mali.
The army said the “complex and simultaneous” attacks occurred at about 3:30 am (0330 GMT), with a local official in Mondoro estimating that the fighting lasted for about an hour.
According to the army, a large amount of military gear, as well as some 40 motorcycles were seized from the attackers.
According to a medical source, a number of wounded soldiers were evacuated by helicopter.
In September 2019, some 50 soldiers killed when the same army positions were targeted in one of the deadliest attacks to hit Mali since 2012.
The Support Group for Islam and Muslims, the main terrorist alliance in the Sahel region affiliated with Al-Qaeda, later claimed responsibility for that attack.
Three other Malian soldiers were killed on Thursday, in a bomb blast that occurred in the Mondoro area.
In its fight against the extremists and terrorists, Mali has received support from France’s Barkhane force, which numbers 5,100 troops spread across the arid Sahel region.
The French force has been fighting terrorist groups alongside soldiers from Chad, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, and Niger.
In addition, the UN has also deployed its 13,000-strong Minusma peacekeeping force to Mali. The force which was first established in 2013, has since suffered 146 hostile deaths in the region.
Kidnappers Abduct Seven Children from Orphanage in Nigeria’s Capital
No fewer than seven children were abducted at the weekend when some gunmen raided the Rachel’s Home For Orphans and Vulnerable Children, Abaji Area Council in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
The gunmen also abducted a security guard, one Joseph Mathew, and two women – Rukaiyyat Salihu and Suwaiba Momoh on Saturday night.
The abducted orphans are Elizabeth Andrew, Dayo Udeh, Jacob Ukpas, Melody Ijeh, Benard Itim, Issac Mathew and Laruba Emmanuel.
Police said they rescued one of the hostages, adding that efforts were being intensified to free others still held captive.
A resident, Mohammed Nurudeen, who was shot in the thigh, explained that the gunmen abducted his wife at gunpoint and also shot him.
He said, “The men came at midnight while we were sleeping and forced me to open the door threatening to kill us if we refused to obey their orders. They shot me and took away my wife. I appeal to the security agencies and the government to assist in rescuing my wife unhurt from the gang.”
But the Federal Capital Territory command said it had launched a rescue operation for the kidnappers, assuring that victims would be released soon.
Police spokesperson of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) command, ASP Maryam Yusuf, said, “We are working hard to rescue them and apprehend the perpetrators. Already, we have rescued one of the hostages and we want to assure that the rest would also be rescued unhurt,” she stated on Sunday.
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