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Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, says he asked officers of the police force in Oyo State to take a back seat during the EndSARS protests that rocked the country in October last year to prevent an escalation of tension.
Makinde gave the explanation in a recent interview with newsmen.
“The #EndSARS protests led to the loss of lives of citizens including police personnel. There was a total breakdown of trust and even between myself and the Police, because they thought I should be supporting them (Police). I said then that the Police should take the back seat and support other security agencies but I did not say it because I do not love the officers and men of the Police or because we are not appreciative of the work that they are doing. I said it because they were the target of the #EndSARS protests. We didn’t want an escalation of tension,” he said.
He, however, noted that his administration is in the process of rebuilding the trust and relationship between residents and police officers.
“It is a difficult situation that we all find ourselves and people thought #EndSARS has come and gone and they should go on with their normal lives. No. It is like when a thread is broken. Yes, you can join it but the length would have shortened. So, I will commend the efforts of the officers and men of the Police, because they are trying their best.
“Since I came back from the United State where I went to spend 10 days, we have been working with the Nigerian Police and I am expecting the new Commissioner of Police, CP Ngozi Onadeko. I can assure you that any moment from now, we will have to sit down and work on that relationship.”
He also thanked the heads of security agencies in the state noting that “Oyo State is vast and a difficult terrain to secure but they have been doing their best to secure our state.”
“I am also urging residents of the state to allow members of security agencies do their work without fear of being targeted for the work they are doing,”he added.
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