- It’s a worthy cause that must be supported by all – Gov Yahaya Bello
- Yahoo Yahoo boys, thugs, robbers behind protest – Yerima Shettima
President Muhammadu Buhari’s daughter, Zahra, and Vice President Osinbajo’s daughter, Kiki have joined the ongoing #EndSARS protest against police brutality in the country.
Kiki Osinbajo had on Saturday shared a post on her Instagram page saying “Police brutality must end now” using the hashtags #endpolicebrutality and #endsars
While Zahra Buhari shared an image on her insta-story that says “#EndPoliceBrutality
Daughters of the President and the Vice-President on Saturday took to social media to join the #EndPoliceBrutality protest which seeks to stop police harassment, brutality and extrajudicial killings.
Zahra posted a photo of clenched fists on her Instagram status with the words, #EndPoliceBrutality.
The Vice-President’s daughter, Kiki Osinbajo, also posted the same photo on Instagram with the caption, “Police Brutality Must End Now… #EndPoliceBrutality #EndSARS.”
However, many Nigerian youths asked them to convey the message to their fathers directly as this would be more effective than a mere social media post.
Thousands of youths have since Thursday been publicly protesting the excesses of the men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police Force.
The police outfit, which is originally mandated to tackle armed robbery, has in recent years been engaging in the arbitrary arrest of youths under the guise of tackling cybercrime.
The #EndSARS protest which has gone global seeks the disbandment of the police unit over incessant cases of extra-judicial killings, extortion and harassment of citizens.
Protests have taken place in Lagos, Abuja and other major cities.
Nigerian singers, actors, politicians and other prominent individuals have joined the campaign both on the streets and the social media space.
Also, the Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, has drummed support for peaceful protests against police brutality especially by the SARS unit.
Bello, in his message to Nigerian youth on Saturday, described seeking an end to SARS brutality as a worthy cause that must be supported by all.
“Seeking an end to the brutal conduct against citizens by FSARS, other police units and the personnel of all security agencies is a worthy cause that must be supported by all,” the governor said.
He implored youth against violent confrontations with the police under any form or guise, whether during these protests or in any other circumstance.
“Taking the law into your hands is unwise, dangerous to the perpetrators and counter-productive to all desired outcomes. We will continue to work toward a new direction in the affairs of Nigeria in which all citizens can maximise the benefits of nationhood, including freedom from arbitrariness by agents of government,” he said.
He said, as governor and Chief Security Officer of Kogi State, he had had cause in the past to order the arrest and prosecution of security officers whose misconduct and brutality led to injury and/or death of innocent citizens in the state.
“This is because I believe in the synergy between law and order and due process as safeguards for the absolute rights of citizens to decent treatment at all stages of encounter with law enforcement,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Arewa Youths Consultative Forum (AYCF) has faulted the ongoing anti SARS protests across the nation.
AYCF National President, Yerima Shettima claimed that fraudsters popularly known Yahoo Yahoo boys and armed robbers, thugs were behind the anti-SARS protest.
Shettima alleged that some of the protests were aimed at preparing grounds for kidnapping, robbery and other social vices.
In a statement, Shettima said: “We have observed, as a group, the loud calls for the total ban on SARS through politically-motivated protests in some parts of the country, notably Lagos State.
“Much as we agree that the Nigeria Police, like all other agencies of the Federal Government could have a few black sheep in the system, it is not as bad as warranting outright ban.
“We are not, at all, persuaded by the new narrative and the rented-crowd street protests that SARS should be banned. We therefore declare as follows:
“It is already on record that Nigeria needs another round of recruitment in order to increase the number of officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force to achieve the desired decrease in the growing incidence of dangerous crimes. Clearly, the nation needs additional, well-trained police personnel, like the hardworking Inspector-General of Police has rightly observed on a number of occasions.
“A close look at the types of persons masquerading as protesters would reveal that they are there to protect the hidden interests of high-profile fraudsters, aka Yahoo Boys, thugs, street urchins and their collaborators. You would hardly see any prominent or respected Nigerian in the forefront of those arrangee protests.
“We are therefore disappointed that some people are hiding behind these suspicious protests to stampede either the IG of Police or the Federal Government into taking a rash decision that could make Nigeria lower its guard, to enable the prepare promoters new grounds for urban crimes, like armed robbery, kidnapping and allied crimes to flourish. This will have dire consequences for the Nigerian people.”