Nigeria’s Inspector-General of Police, IGP Adamu Abubakar, has blamed a “fake news”, which originated from Delta State about an alleged killing of an individual by supposed EndSars operatives, as the reason for the wild EndSars protest that rocked the country recently.
According to the police boss, the EndSars protest, which later turned violent nationwide after being hijacked by some miscreants, was engineered by a “mischievous individual”, who recorded a scene with a wrong description that suggested the operatives of the defunct Special anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, had killed someone.
IGP Adamu, speaking during a press briefing at the Lagos State Command Headquarter, condemned the level of wanton destruction of lives and properties as well as businesses across the states.
He said, “You are aware of the EndSars protest that was engineered by fake news that came out of Delta state, where the local security outfit called “Operation Delta Safe” was on a routine stop and search patrol and they accosted some two individuals, and out of guilt, one of them decided to bolt out of the vehicle”
Adamu said, “an individual, who wanted to spread mischief, took a video of the incident and then put it on social media that SARS had killed somebody, and that led to a protest in Delta state. But in the course of investigations, we found out that nobody was killed, and SARS was not involved.”
“But then with the of social media, everything went wild, and that was when Lagos picked it. And when Lagos picked it, it became a serious matter. Lagos became the epic centre of the protest”. Stated Adamu.
The IG blamed the protesters for disregarding all the advice to end their campaign despite the after their demands had been met. This he said paved the way for the hoodlums to manipulate their process and unleash terror on innocent individuals and businesses.
“We engaged the stakeholders, we engaged Civil Society Organizations, we engaged entertainers, musicians, we dialogued and made them understand that after meeting their demands, they should be off the road, but they did not leave the road. And what happened, we’ve seen massive destruction of lives and property”. We’ve seen massive destruction of public property, we’ve seen the destruction of the police station, we’ve seen the destruction of businesses. In fact, Lagos state is the worst”, lamented the Police IG.
He, however, praised the men of the Nigeria Police Force for their act of professionalism displayed during the protests.
He said, “Anybody that comes into the country, the first sign of authority you’ll meet is the police, but when the police are viciously attacked by hoodlums, miscreants, in this manner that we’ve seen, the tendency is for the police to be provoked, and when you are provoked, you have the power, you have the capacity, you have the strength to repel these, but you showed restrain by not using maximum force to repel the miscreants, the hoodlums, the criminals that went about destroying properties and killing people here and there”.
“So I congratulate you for showing restrain, and that has now turned the table against the protesters. Everybody knows that you were professional in handling these protesters which eventually turned violent.” He stated.
IGP Adamu revealed however that at least 1,596 suspects have been arrested in connection with the violence that trailed the EndSars protest.
Before addressing the press, the police IG, Adamu, accompanied by the Force Public Relations Officer, Mr Frank Mba, and the Lagos State Police Commissioner, CP Odumosu, was on an inspection tour around the state to ascertain the level destruction caused by the miscreants on businesses and properties.