As the #EndSARS campaigns enters its second week, Nseobong Okon-Ekong and Vanessa Obioha catalogue instructive comments of leading personalities from all sides of the unfolding episode
President Muhammadu Buhari
The disbanding of SARS is only the first step in our commitment to extensive police reforms in order to ensure that the primary duty of the police and other law enforcement agencies remains the protection of lives and livelihood of our people.
*I met again with the IGP tonight. Our determination to reform the police should never be in doubt. I am being briefed regularly on the reform efforts ongoing to end police brutality and unethical conduct, and ensure that the Police are fully accountable to the people.
*The IG already has my firm instructions to conclusively address the concerns of Nigerians regarding these excesses, & ensure erring personnel are brought to justice. I appeal for patience & calm, even as Nigerians freely exercise their right to peacefully make their views known.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo
There are far too many people who have been brutalised at the hands of the police and this is unacceptable. We must take responsibility for protecting young people, even sometimes from those who are paid to protect them.
*Over the past week, we have been following the protests, and I have had a number of discussions with key people in the administration that you deserve to be informed about. Transparency, after all, is a key tenet of government.
We understand that you want to see action from us and I’m here to tell you that work is ongoing. I chaired a meeting of 36 state governors and the Minister of the FCT (NEC), where we resolved to set up judicial panels of inquiry so we can see justice served, and fast.
We have proposed that each state government set up a Victims’ Support Fund, which @NigeriaGov
will support. This is the least that we can do to compensate for the injustice suffered at the hands of errant officers.
*The reason being that only state governors, by law, can set up judicial inquiries in their states. The hearings will be public.
*We also understand that the issues that you’re raising are bigger than just SARS. They’re deep and systemic and we’re undertaking comprehensive measures that will revamp the police by addressing issues of welfare, service conditions and training.
*We will continue to update and engage with you all on these action steps and the ones to come, in the spirit of transparency, so that you can hold us accountable. We are, after all, here to serve you and we owe you a duty to win back your trust. Keep safe. God bless you.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan
I think that this is the situation that should be properly investigated. Those in involved in recent incident should be arrested and prosecuted. The law should take its due course. This is not acceptable. Nigerians need to know what happened by those who have killed Nigerians.
*There are good people and bad people in SARS. Scrapping of agencies when you have mistakes may not be the best position. Rule of law should be put in place. If you scrap SARS, you lose the chance of getting those doing well to continue to do well
*On the floor of the Senate today, I reiterated the fact that Nigerians acted within their rights to protest the killings of, and brutality meted against citizens by men of the now dissolved Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) across the country.
*I think the protest has yielded the desired result so far, and there may not be need to continue to have protests again when SARS has be disbanded
*Let’s give the government the chance to implement those reforms as quickly as possible while ensuring that those culprits who were involved in the killing and maiming of Nigerians are brought to book.
Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege
We are beginning to wonder because you can’t tell when you see a SARS and armed robbers, even the way they are dressed. We have the constitution which has guaranteed privacy to our citizens but this people have become more like extortionists looking for way to force people to part with money
Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker, House of Representatives
We have been able to secure the release of
1. Okara Nkem
2 Ayodeji Ayeni
3 Nduka Treasure
4 Adeola Adebayo
5 Adetifa Olanrewaju Samuel
The 6th detained person Ademola Ojabodu was transferred to Panti police station and all will be done to effect his release too.
*Gladly we have been able to secure the release of Ademola Ojabodu the last of the 6 arrested people. We must and will continue to protect our rights at all times.
*I have spoken to the CP Lagos and I am in touch with my member representing Surulere, in the State Assembly, Hon Desmond Elliot who is presently on his way to Area C Police station where some protesters are being held. We will ensure that People’s rights are not violated.
*I have just spoken to the Area Commander. I also spoke with Charles whose legal services I have engaged. The lawyers are now on their way to meet with those detained. Like I said we will stop at nothing to protect their rights and release from detention.
Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu
The IGP charges the training coordinators to ensure a diligent and timely delivery of the Tactical Team.
*He observes that the necessity for the immediate establishment of a new Tactical Team is in view of the need to fill voids created by the dissolution of the defunct SARS particularly during the “EMBER Month” traditionally characterized with upsurge in armed robbery and other violent crimes in the country.
The IGP therefore seeks the cooperation of the citizens in the ongoing development drive for a new and reformed Nigeria Police Force.
*He enjoins them to be patient and to believe in the reform processes which are all directed at ensuring the security, safety and rights of all.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State
Today, the Chairman of the Lagos panel of Enquiry and Restitution for victims of Police brutality in Lagos, Rtd Justice Doris Okuwobi visited me as the panel gets to work from Monday.
It is my promise that they will work diligently…
..to make sure all cases brought before them will be pursued to a logical conclusion, and all verified victims will get the justice and compensation they deserve.
We will also be adding more youth representatives to the panel.
We see you.
We hear you.
There are no words I could have said to Mrs Ngozi Iloamauzor today that can make up for her loss, but as governor, I had to take responsibility.
As a human being, I was close to tears but my words to her were of strength and self care. We will work to provide justice for her.
As a state, we will also support and hopefully make her life easier.
*The state Attorney General, Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo SAN joined me for the visit and he will be providing me regular updates on the case.
I have seen powerful images and videos of the #CandleForSARSVictims vigils held across the country. It calls for very sober reflections.
Yesterday, the orderly room trial of the police officers involved in the surulere incident
*Some of the victims attended and will testify before the panel next week. Justice will be served. Thank you to the team actively following up and helping victims.
There is so much more to be done and I will keep sharing the actions we are taking in line with my announcements.
Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State
While we are setting up, in addition to these, a Forensics Laboratory to aid crime investigation, we will provide the Ogun State Human Rights Complaints Reporting Portal, via which Ogun State citizens can upload documentary, video or audio evidence of abuse.
The Human Rights Complaints Office, with Mr Joseph Ogunniyi, Esq as Chairman, will facilitate easy access of complainants to assistance via modern technology channels, and give regular reports to the Special Security and Human Rights Committee for action.
*Impressive results have emerged from our #EndPoliceBrutality agitations following the resolutions of the virtual National Economic Council, NEC meeting that was held on Thursday. Ogun State will be setting up one each of a support fund, panel, committee, and office.
*This transformation will make a significant difference, and this Administration will not relent in representing the interests of the people who voted her in.
I therefore call on all protesters to bring an end to the demonstrations, while the joint initiatives of the Federal and Ogun State Governments are implemented for practical change.
#BuildingOurFutureTogether #ISEYA #EndSARS
Senator Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos Central)
A militarised police will only make the people the enemy of the state.”
In spite of this, the culture of brutality of security operatives towards Nigerians have continued unabated.
While the Nigerian army is doing good job in securing the territory against insurgents, allegations of human rights abuses by its officers cannot be overlooked.
*Nigerian youths can no longer move freely for fear that they will profiled and accused of being yahoo boys or fraudsters merely because they look good, own laptops, iPhones, nice looking cars or profiled as having dreads,”
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s former Finance Minister
I applaud the resourcefulness and courage of Nigerian youth in the #EndSARS. Powerful to let your voices be heard peacefully. Let’s join hands for a positive outcome through a One Nigeria approach.
Reno Omokri, former Presidential Aide
Gowon was Head of State at 31. Murtala was Head of State at 36. @MBuhari was Head of State at 42. They were all youths. They all had the best houses, cars and gadgets. Yet, @PoliceNG did not criminalise them. But when it got to our turn, Buhari decided to criminalise us #EndSARS
Aisha Yesufu, Socio-political Activist
Its not up to 72hrs given to Nigerian government and #Anonymous have now hack the Twitter account of Nigeria’s National Broadcasting Commission NBC. Who is ur Anon? RT till Buhari see whats coming for him if he persistz #EndSARS
*Buhari doesn’t know what is happening. Every day on the streets the protesters are getting hardened and resolved. They are slowly standing their ground
Femi Fani-Kayode, former Minister of Aviation
The plan to deploy soldiers to slaughter #EndSARS
protesters just as Shiite Muslims & IPOB youths were once butchered will be Burutai & Buhari’s gravest error. It will turn the #Endsars
movement into the #EndNigeria movement. We warn again: Do not kill these innocent youths
Dr. Dipo Awojide, Academic and Strategist
Buhari has only addressed Nigerians once in the last 10 days. This sort of arrogance, and aloofness is exactly why young people are on the streets protesting. #EndSARS
Jimi Agbaje, Pharmacist and Politician
You coined your own slangs, coordinated yourselves without choosing a leader; sustaining the tempo & remaining peaceful all through. In the light of this, Nigerians must not keep “fem”, we must “soro s’oke”. Prayerfully, hopefully, this is the turning point generation. #EndSARS
The power is not to be hoarded in the hands of a few but should be channeled through as many active cells as available. This will make the movement open, participatory & peer driven
You have acted in unity, speaking with one voice and one destiny.
Like successful movements such as #Blacklivesmatter