Opinion

#EndSARS: Group Canvasses Improved Police Relations

A Non-governmental organization, Global Sustainable Youth Forum, committed to the realization of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, has reacted to the ongoing nationwide protests against police brutality in Nigeria, code named, #ENDSARS.

The organization in a press statement dated 16th October, 2020 and signed by its Coordinator, Raymond Nkannebe, Esq and made available to the press said it has been monitoring and following the protests around the country by Nigerian youths and is deeply concerned as a youth based organization.

“The Global Sustainable Youth Forum (GSYF) has followed with concern the ongoing nationwide protests against police brutality in Nigeria by the youths who are calling out the notoriety of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigerian Police and demanding its outright disbandment by the federal authorities,” the statement read.

The organization condemned the alleged killing of some protesters by operatives of the Nigeria Police noting that it was the fundamental rights of the citizens to protest and demand for good governance in a democratic state.

They urged the youths to continue to be civil and law abiding in their agitations as well as patriotic and realistic in their demands as the issues bedeviling the Nigerian Police would take some time to be effectively tackled.

“Finally we call on the protesters to be patriotic in their demands and realistic in
their expectations of reforms in the police as the problems bedeviling the institution as it is today, requires root and branch intervention which will take some time to be addressed. They should therefore know the right time to drop the agitations and allow for implementation of their demands while continuing to be vigilant in monitoring the action plans”, part of the statement read.

The organization further described the protests as being symptomatic of years of government neglect, and the expression of the collective frustrations of Nigerian youths who have for too long grappled with leadership ineptitude and official corruption, while reaffirming its commitment to the resolution of the crisis that has continued to fester.

“On the whole, the GSYF notes that the protests while they may wear the face of
grievances against the police, are also the collective expression of years of government neglect and leadership brigandage in Nigeria by successive Nigerian leaders which has resulted in ‘lack of decent work and economic growth. The latest data released by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics show that at least 60 million Nigerians are currently
unemployed, while the country remains the global capital of poverty according to the global poverty clock. Even as the protests continue, Nigerian universities remain under lock and key as a result of prolonged industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) over unresolved labor disputes with Nigerian authorities. All of these are emblematic of a weak political economy that could spiral into a full blown revolution as the world witnessed recently in the Middle East.

Against the backdrop of the above, It is our expectations, that the current realities, will force a course correction on the political class in Nigeria and lead them to prioritize governance while eschewing all forms of political corruption so as to meet the minimum
expectations of the citizens who have shown by these protests that they can take liberties” the statement read.

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