Nigerian government has warned against continued harassment and vilification of security operatives over their roles in helping to stop the violence that trailed the EndSARS protests.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed who said at a press briefing in Abuja noted that the Federal Government is very satisfied with the role played by the security agencies, especially the military and the police, all through the EndSARS crisis.
He added that the security agents were professional and measured in their response even when their lives were at stake, they exercised uncommon restraint.
“Their professionalism and measured response saved many lives and properties. For example, despite arresting hordes of looters during the violence in Lagos, the army treated them humanely and even counseled them before handing them over to the police.
“The same cannot be said of those who unleashed mayhem on the security agents, killing and maiming them, sometimes in such a barbaric manner that is unprecedented in these parts,” said the Minister who added that six soldiers and 37 policemen were killed all over the country during the crisis.
This is in addition to 196 policemen who were injured; 164 police vehicles that were destroyed and 134 police stations that were razed.
“Soldiers, policemen and other security agents deserve commendation, not condemnation, except, of course, their critics are saying they are not human beings and that their own rights do not matter.
“It is depressing and demoralizing to continue to vilify men and women in uniform, who themselves were victims of senseless violence unleashed by hoodlums.
“The role of the human rights organizations, in particular, became suspect after they simply ignored the brutal killing and maiming of security agents during the crisis, as well as the orgy of violence that left 57 civilians dead, 269 private/corporate facilities burnt/looted/vandalized, 243 government facilities burnt/vandalized and 81 government warehouses looted, and instead continued to dwell on the body-less and bloodless ‘massacre’ at Lekki Toll Gate.
“They did not see anything wrong in the public and private properties that were burnt or looted, neither did they see anything wrong in the fact that some of the businesses that were looted belonged to struggling young men and women.
“ All they could see in their biased view of the whole situation was a hoax massacre.
“Also, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, the Nigeria Customs Service and Nigeria Immigration Service all lost infrastructures, equipment and other valuables to attack by hoodlums during the crisis. Eight medium security custodial centres in six states (Edo, Lagos, Abia, Delta, Ondo and Ebonyi) were attacked, with 1,957 inmates set free and 31 staff injured,” he added.