Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki says the government has evidence linking political opponents to attacks on security infrastructure in the state. He therefore called on the federal government to probe the hijack of the #EndSARS protest in the state which led to the attack on correctional centres and attendant jail breaks. He lamented that the state was heavily impacted by the hijack of the protest. Obaseki made the allegation at the Government House, Benin City, when he received the Commissioner of Police (CP), Abutu Yaro, Chairman of the Inspector General of Police, IG Committee on Assessment of losses of the Nigerian Police Force in impacted states where #EndSARS disturbances took place.
According to Obaseki, “It started in Edo and we can tell you that it is not totally unrelated to our politics in Edo. We have evidence that some people who lost out were masterminds of some of these activities. The boys they brought in to create havoc for the election were armed and some of them went to the correctional facilities to release some of their colleagues”.
The governor noted that while the protest lasted, in other places, hoodlums were destroying government properties but in Edo State, the focus was on security structure and institutions.
“I hope the Federal Government will deem it fit to set up a panel of inquiry to find out why and who was responsible for such damage to our security infrastructure. It all started in Edo. The first police station was burnt in Edo and the correctional facilities were attacked here in Edo State. It was a well-articulated and orchestrated event to undermine the security of the State and Nigeria”.
According to the governor, “To get to the bottom of this issue, we need to question some of these persons no matter how highly placed they are. They should be questioned on their roles in destroying security infrastructure in Edo State”.
He said the government had sent its contractors to do an evaluation of the properties destroyed, stressing that “We are concerned about the arms removed during the protest by criminal elements who are now attacking and killing policemen and IPOs who prosecuted them.
“It is part of a sustained effort to undermine the state. Pressure is on Edo State Commissioner of Police to release some persons arrested with arms and some people who played vital role in the destruction of security infrastructure”.
Also speaking, Yaro explained that he was on a working visit to Edo State with a mandate to go round all states impacted by the #EndSARS protest; access the damages incurred by the police during the protest; visit injured persons, families of the dead and collate the vehicular damages and other infrastructural templates that had been put out of use, and report back accordingly to the police management team within three weeks.