Adegoke Ajibola was a police sergeant attached to ‘B’ Operations Department of the Oyo State Police Command.
His area of engagement was usually being on special duty, as requested by different companies and organisations, and as ordered by his command.
Committed to his duty, on October 22, 2020, Ajibola and other police personnel, Inspector Ojo Osho and Corporal Rotimi Oladele left for duty at a fish depot at Wema Bank area of Gbagi in Ibadan.
Though there had been violent acts carried out by hoodlums in the guise of being #EndSARS protesters, Ajibola and others felt that they should not shirk in their responsibilities, coupled with the fact that they were not attached to any division, but ‘B’ Ops at police headquarters.
But to be on the safe side, they were in mufti, and rode in an unmarked vehicle, until a motorcycle rider gave them a scratch.
Information gathered by Reporters At Large had it that instead of showing remorse, the bike rider and hoodlums descended on the law enforcers when they discovered that they were policemen.
Though two of them and the Inspector went in different directions to save their lives, the hoodlums were said to have searched all houses around the area incident occurred and eventually found Ajibola and Oladele.
A viral video posted by one of the hoodlums showed the gory scene as the policemen were set ablaze on a heap of used tyres.
Not done, the hoodlums had descended on the burnt bodies and cut chunks from them, which were eaten allegedly with chilled drinks.
Fortunately for Inspector Ojo, he was rescued by operatives of Operation Burst, while they recovered the pistols of the burnt police.
Also, three Inspectors of police, Peter Abegunde, Alidu Yusuff and James Akanmu were killed in a gruesome manner at Ojoo police station in Ibadan on October 21.
Not only that, the hoodlums burnt the police station to ashes and took away rifles and valuables.
Other police stations set on fire in Oyo State included Alakia-Adelubi, Egbeda, Monatan and Kobolese Outpost, Akobo and Iseyin.
Several other police stations were vandalised while arms and ammunition were stolen and other items looted, prompting security to be beefed up at police stations and correctional centres when things got out of hand.
Some police officers and men, who spoke under anonymity because they had not been authorised to speak with the media, said their morales had been down since the killing of their colleagues over nothing.
“Since the EndSARS protests started, we stayed on one side, as we are all being judged without listening to our side.
“As it is said that there are bad eggs among the police, must we all be castigated over what many know nothing about?
“Even at that, he who is innocent should cast the first stone. There are numerous bad eggs in society, even among religious ones.
“But only the police are abused. The people are unconcerned about the ones who do their works conscientiously.
“If people want to police to be stopped, that is alright, once they can cope with the society filled with criminals.
“If the corrupt ones are identified among us, they should be reported and dealt with.
“We risk our lives to deal with armed robbers, kidnappers, ritual killers, murderers, fraudsters and the like, and people don’t know they would support protests to cover their tracks because many of them are unknown or disguise as responsible human beings.
“If the police are demoralised further, I wonder what the society will turn to,” a police officer expressed.
Meanwhile, some members of the society, who also spoke, said that the governor of Oyo State, Engineer Seyi Makinde should look into the wickedness shown to police officers that were killed without tracing any evil doing to them.
According to Mr Farayola Osunkolade, “while we are not exonerating all policemen from extortion, peaceful protests would have been enough to express ourselves, not allowing inhumanity to take preeminence.
“Are the hoodlums looting and causing havoc not showing us that they were criminals looking for avenues to perpetrate their crimes?
“If you accuse someone of corruption and you are corrupt, what is the difference between the two of you?” he asked rhetorically.
Osunkolade advocated condolence visits to the families of police affected and compensation for their falling while on the line of duty and active service.
He also that the criminals should be looked for, and brought to justice, just as being advocated for those killed while protesting genuinely and peacefully.
“What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander,” he stated.
Another member of the society, who simply identified himself as Seyi, said that the police needed reformation, so as to get rid of the bad ones and make the good ones functional.
According to Seyi, I’m not exonerating the hoodlums from being wicked through their actions, but truth be told: bad police officers gave them the leeway to perpetrate crime. If not, would they have dared it if we have committed and honest police personnel?
“We know the country is not developed enough to equip them, but they knew this before they joined the profession. So they should perform well to get the support of the society and not add to their problems.”
Reporters At Large learnt that Ajibola and Oladele, said to be Ibadan indigenes, were buried on Wednesday, October 28, 2020, while one of the Inspectors killed at Ojoo was still in the mortuary as at the time of writing this story.
The police had not been able to locate the remains of two Inspectors from Ojoo, who were said to have been burnt to ashes.