There is absolutely no further justification to continue condoning the activities of the so-called “palliatives” looters. Enough is enough! Over one week since ‘unknown’ soldiers marched to the Lekki Toll Gate, Lagos venue of the EndSARS protest and shot at unarmed youth, incidents of looting are still being reported in some parts of the country.
In some states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, large gangs of armed youth have been moving through neighbourhoods apparently in search of “hoarded” CACOVID palliatives, breaking into private businesses, homes, shops and banks and robbing.
As a result, many banks and filling stations remained shut early this week, and fuel scarcity resurfaced in Abuja. In Lagos, gunshots which had drastically dwindled in recent years due to security measures, started sounding again at night as looters-turned-robbers terrorised people in their homes without let or hindrance.
Even though the Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Mohammed Adamu, had ordered the Police to move in and reclaim the civil space from anarchists, there was very little presence or activities of law enforcement agents in most parts of the country towards the end of this week. Many people wondered what was really happening.
Could it be that the Police Force had embarked on some kind of work-to-rule action in retaliation for the EndSARS protest and its violent aftermath? If that is the case, it is a dangerous precedent and an act of gross immaturity and irresponsibility. The Constitution mandates the Police with the primary responsibility of maintaining law and order and protecting the people.
The people have the right to protest the failure of the Police to meet their expectation in the way they do their job. We expect the Police and government as a whole to listen to the people’s yearnings and turn a leaf for the better. We also expect government to implement the demand for police reforms which will also give their welfare a great boost. That way, the original nd noble purpose of the EndSARS protest would have been met.
A situation where police personnel are ordered back to the beat and they appear reluctant to do so is unacceptable. They should not even have allowed the hoodlums who were not part of the protests to attack police bases or go on burning and looting sprees without resistance.
Those still marauding in the name of searching for palliatives must be checked by all means. Anyone who bears unauthorised weapons (even sticks and cudgels) to harass or rob innocent people is a criminal and must be neutralised. “Hunger” is no justification for criminality.
The Police and all other security agencies must work with neighbourhood watch and vigilante groups to secure the people and allow economic and social activities to return to full spate.