As Nigerians Demand #EndSARS, President Buhari Tweets About Police ‘Reform’
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday broke silence over ongoing #EndSARS protests demanding an end to police brutality in the country.
Following days of renewed protests by Nigerians calling for the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a unit of the Nigerian Police notorious for cases of human rights abuse, Buhari summoned the Inspector General of Police Adamu Mohammed to the presidential villa.
In a statement on Friday evening, Buhari said he had instructed Adamu to bring erring police officers to book, adding that he has been receiving briefings about reform efforts to end police brutality.
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. pic.twitter.com/yoLoZt7Et9
— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) October 9, 2020
However, many Nigerians worry about the lack of political will to implement any reforms – calling instead for a total disbandment of the SARS unit.
— Great Oracle (@AbdulMahmud01) October 9, 2020
We don’t want a reformation or anything that resembles it,we don’t want a committee set up 2 look into it,we just want to wake up one morning to d news that Sars has been abolished completely to any evil forest of ur choosing,until then we won’t rest#EndSARS#EndSARSImmediately https://t.co/aCO0AeHyDy
— MAKANAKI (@black_bhoy_) October 9, 2020
For years we have been talking about REFORM and it keeps getting worse. We are tired!
— Sally Suleiman (@is_salsu) October 9, 2020
This is the problem. Always “Being briefed”!
Those men are not briefing you the right information. They are not showing you videos of the unending Police brutality. Stop all these reform talk. You can’t keep doing the same thing and expect different result! https://t.co/3fH6Nke36B
— Wale Adetona (@iSlimfit) October 9, 2020
— WURLPAPI (@markzubi) October 9, 2020
In 2018, the country’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, while deputizing for President Buhari who was out of the country on a medical trip abroad, ordered the unit to be overhauled. In January 2019, the police announced another ban on the same police unit.
Not much has changed since these bans were put in place.
“A similar ban on SARS did not end police brutality because it appeared the bans were simply done to assuage the swelling public anger at the time of the announcement and not intended to end police brutality,” Amnesty Nigeria’s program manager, Seun Bakare told CNN.
But President Buhari on Friday said the determination of his administration “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,” he said.
“The IG already has my firm instructions to conclusively address the concerns of Nigerians regarding these excesses, and ensure erring personnel are brought to justice. I appeal for patience and calm, even as Nigerians freely exercise their right to peacefully make their views known. The vast majority of men and women of the Nigeria Police Force are patriotic and committed to protecting the lives and livelihoods of Nigerians, and we will continue to support them to do their job.”
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