MEET FRANK OSHANUGOR
By Frank Oshanugor
Despite the brutality suffered by some Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) and other officers particularly in Lagos during the 2020 October EndSARS protest that rocked parts of the country, many of the officers who lost their personal items and narrowly escaped death from hoodlums are yet to be settled.
An investigation carried out by AtlanticNewsonline has revealed that some of the DPOs who spent their personal money in providing some necessary working tools and office equipment in their divisions prior to the protest lost such items during the protest.
The items were either damaged or carted away by the hoodlums after the officers had either been killed or badly injured. Such items from investigation include personal cars, Television sets, computer machines, uniforms and boots, split unit air-conditioners, furniture (chairs and tables), refrigerators, ceiling fans etc. These items were personally bought by the officers.
A police source told AtlanticNewsonline that sequel to the setting up of a Committee by the Force Headquarters headed by Commissioner of Police, Abuti Yaro, all affected officers were given claim forms by the committee to specify the various items lost. They duly complied but up till now, such affected officers have not been compensated.
It was also gathered that the special promotions given to police victims of the EndSARS attack were done in a manner that favoured people of some tribes particularly in Lagos where officers of Yoruba extraction were given priority over and above their counterparts from other tribes partly officers from South East.
Some of the affected officers who accepted to speak with AtlanticNewsonlinestrictly on the basis of anonymity said they have lost faith in the Nigeria Police Force due to the marginalisation they have suffered. They wondered why patrol vehicles destroyed during the protest have been replaced by government but those who lost their personal vehicles are left to suffer such losses.
While appreciating the fact that some state governments have expeditiously paid death benefits to families of officers who died during the protest, the living victims contended that it would equally be worthwhile for those of them who survived but lost some personal effects to be taken care of and be compensated for their losses.
It would be recalled that several police Divisional headquarters and their personnel were attacked when hoodlums hijacked the EndSARS protest which was initially peaceful across various Southern States. The police in Lagos State suffered more in terms of destruction to police formations across the state.