Charles Nwoke, Nigeria
November 8, 2020
No fewer than 100 AK-47 and 2,600 pieces of ammunition were looted across Lagos during attacks on 37 police formations in the state, according to a committee set up to assess the level of damages meted out on the force during the EndSARS protest crisis by Mohammed Adamu, Inspector General of Nigeria Police.
Recall that protesters were forcefully dispersed from the streets of Lagos, which resulted in suspected hoodlums embarking on a rampage, attacking both government and private-owned properties in the economic hub of the nation (Lagos).
In an interview with PUNCH, Yaro Abutu, chairman of the 10-man damage assessment committee, said 367 vehicles, 10 armored personnel carriers, saloon cars, and Hilux vans were also burnt during the unrest in the state.
Abutu said the team was taking the inventory of property destroyed in police facilities across the country with Lagos as the first point of call.
“We are taking a tour around the 17 states where the burning of police facilities and killing of police personnel occurred. Since Lagos is the epicenter we decided to come to Lagos first. Thirty-seven police stations were attacked in Lagos and about 30 percent of the police infrastructure in the state has been crippled,” he said.
“Also, a lot of arms and ammunition were carted away. We are still counting and collating. In some police stations, 15 to 30 firearms and ammunition were stolen. So far from our preliminary report, about 100 pieces of AK-47 cannot be accounted for and up to 2,600 pieces of ammunition are missing. This is when criminals become more aggressive whereas police equipment has been crippled. It is pathetic.”
Abutu advised anyone in possession of the arms and ammunition to immediately return such items to a nearby police station or community leaders.
“One of them was returned to the Area Commander Ajah, ACP Gbolahan. It was found somewhere and the community alerted him. The police went to pick it. If the community sees any firearm and refuses to report, the weapon will still be used to unleash terror on the population,” he said.
“That is why we are appealing to community leaders, youths, and other stakeholders to be on the lookout,” he added.