Oyo State Governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, on Thursday, 9 March, 2023, commissioned the new Ojoo Divisional Police Headquarters, Ibadan, which was constructed by the state government following its destruction during the #EndSARS protest, which engulfed the country in 2021.
The Governor, while speaking at the commissioning ceremony held at the Ojoo Roundabout, said that his administration will continue to maintain cordial relationship with the Police and other security agencies.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that the Governor equally handed over 74 vehicles to Divisional Police Stations across the state, commending Police officers and other security agencies for keeping lives and properties safe and secured in the state.
The governor explained that the cooperation of the security agencies in the state with his administration and the synergy among the Police and other security agencies have ensured that criminalities were reduced to the barest minimum in the state.
The Governor, who stated that he has received an additional report from the judicial panel set up to look into the incidents of police brutality in the aftermarth of the #EndSARS protest, said that he will act on the report to ensure that everyone who lost lives and properties will get adequate compensation.
He said: “Let me remind everybody that this time four years ago, I was nearly killed at a spot close to this location. They shot at my vehicle and the bullet impact is still on the bus we used for our campaign that year. Despite that, you came out and voted massively for me. So, I see this as an opportunity to thank you, my good people of Ojoo.
“The Police station we rebuilt here is one of the three police stations destroyed during the #EndSARS protest. The damage done to the one at Egbeda was not much. The one at Iseyin was extensively damaged including the shops surrounding it. I am aware that it was the PCRC that renovated the one in Egbeda and I appreciate that.
“With this new Police Station here, we are restoring the facilities and also using the opportunity to build and further cement the relationship among the Police, the people and this administration.
“Let me also use this opportunity to thank the Nigerian Police, Oyo State Command, because you are doing very well for our people.
“I have been on this job for close to four years now. I get a security report every morning and find different issues, ranging from robbery, murder, arson and all sorts. But in the past one year or so, I have had days that when I get a security report, I go back to relax and take my coffee, because such reports pointed no ugly incidents across the length and breadth of Oyo State. So, thank you for the efforts.
“Equally, I would like to use this opportunity to thank other security agencies who have been working cooperatively with the Police Force. On behalf of the good people of Oyo State, you have been toiling tirelessly to keep us safe and this is our own time to say thank you.”
The governor, who urged residents of the area to see the new facility as their own, noted that whenever protests are allowed to get to the point of vandalism and destruction of public properties, the people themselves will pay for it while the resources meant for other developmental projects will likely be diverted to rebuilding such properties.
“When the CP was talking, he said this project belongs to the residents of Ojoo. So, as citizens, you have to be careful about how protests are carried out. “Yes, during #EndSARS, I stood with the people because the people have the right to protest when they feel things are going wrong. But, as we witnessed, the protest was hijacked by hoodlums.
“We all know that resources are scarce and when things like this happen, we have to use part of the scarce resources to replace what was destroyed. “There are about 74 Divisional Police stations and each of them got a vehicle today. During the #EndSARS protest, four operational vehicles were destroyed but today, we are replacing the four with 74.
“Well, you already know that I am an advocate of State Police and restructuring and I hope that in the nearest future, we will surely achieve this. But in the meantime, let me pledge to the Nigerian Police and other security agencies in Oyo State that we will continue to support you,” he added.
The governor also used the occasion to address the outcome of the state’s EndSARS panel, noting that the report had to be reviewed to accommodate Policemen who lost their lives in the incident and that the report has now been resubmitted to him.
He said that he was ready to give the report the required attention.
“I know some may be saying some other people were also badly affected by the protests and want to know about the outcome of the Judicial Panel. The day the Panel brought their report, I asked them to take it back because, in their recommendations, they did not include the police officers who lost their lives.
“I am happy to say that the report has been reviewed and the new one has been submitted to me, and I will act to ensure that Police and all those who lost one thing or the other during the protest, are duly compensated,” the governor said.
Earlier, the state Commissioner of Police, Adebowale Williams, commended the governor for being a visionary leader who is interested in improving the security architecture of the state.
He called on the residents of Ojoo to see the new Police station as their property and ensure it is protected at all cost.
In his remarks, Special Adviser on Security Matters to Governor Makinde and a retired Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni (rtd), stated that the governor has done something unprecedented in the history of security architecture in the state.
He explained that the Governor Makinde-led administration has donated more than 500 security vehicles, a feat he noted is uncommon even at the federal level.