• November 27, 2020

#SARSMUSTEND: How Government Can End Nationwide Protests

By Jude Obuseh

As protests against police brutality and calls for the reform of the force continue to spread across the country’s major cities and towns, the need for the Federal Government to come up with adequate emergency responses to the critical issues raised by the protesters has become all the more expedient.

Despite the measures so far taken by the authorities such as the proscription of the notorious police unit, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, who went on to announce the formation of a new Tactical Unit in its place, assent to other demands made by the protesters such as the release of all protesters in police custody, and a promise to commence investigations into past cases of extra-judicial killings by the police, the protests have not shown any sign of abating.

Below are some immediate practical steps the authorities must take to restore public confidence in the police and gradually bring an end to the protests.

EndSARS protests: Nigeria president commits to ending police brutality -  BBC News

1-Government must give listening ears to the demands of the protesters and be seen to be working assiduously towards addressing the major issues raised. This will act as a confidence building measure that would give room for further negotiations on the way forward, as the public has become accustomed to viewing promises made by the government with askance.

2-.The Federal Government must ensure the safety of protesters by ordering the security operatives to exercise restraint in the face of provocation, as recent reported cases of shooting of unarmed protesters by police operatives have further increased public opprobrium and apathy towards the force, estranging the public in the process.

3-.Government must immediately launch full-fledged investigations, through the instrumentality of a genuine judicial commission of inquiry, not one in the mold of the rubber stamp Ayo Salami Judicial Commission of Inquiry, to probe cases of past extrajudicial killings of Nigerians by police personnel and ensure that those found culpable are subjected to the brunt of the law to act as deterrent to would-be perpetrators of such heinous offences.

4- The Attorneys-General should be allowed to take over the prosecution of past incidences of extra-judicial killings by police operatives, as the 2020 Police Act forbids the prosecution of cases in civil courts by the police.

5-. Genuine steps, not damage control measures, must be taken by all stakeholders to commence a comprehensive reformation of the entire police force, which has been the main thrust of the ongoing protests.

If these measures, alongside others deemed necessary by the government, can be immediately activated, the ongoing nationwide protests will gradually recede, as most of the demands of the protesters would have been addressed.

God Save Nigeria


EndSARS protests gaining global attention | The Guardian Nigeria News -  Nigeria and World NewsNigeria — The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and  World News
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