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Focus on Police Reforms, Coalition for Democracy Urges #EndSARS Protesters



The Coalition for Democracy, CD, has urged EndSARS protesters in Nigeria, to focus on the theme of their campaign of reforming the Nigeria Police in order not to allow subversive elements hijack the protest.

President of the Coalition, Comrade Samson Atawodi, who spoke with newsmen in Abuja, said since President Muhammadu Buhari has signed into law the Nigeria Police Bill, 2020, this is the right time for citizens to push for the implementation of the reforms which formed the original theme of the #EndSARS protests.

It would be recalled that President Buhari had in a memo dated September 16, 2020, communicated his assent to the Bill to the National Assembly, which repeals the Police Act Cap. P19. Laws of the Federation, 2004, and provides for a more effective and well organized Police Force in Nigeria.

Comrade Atawodi said with the establishment of an appropriate funding framework for the Police in line with what is obtainable in other Federal Government key institutions, the new Act will enhance professionalism in the Force through increased training opportunities as well as create an enduring cooperation and partnership between the Police Force and communities in maintaining peace and combating crimes nationwide.

He said as President Buhari has taken prompt action and disbanded the SARS unit of the Police as demanded by the protesters and agreed to implement suggestions on improving the police, it would be unfair for the youths to continue to be on the streets.

“The Presidential Panel on Police Reform has agreed to the five-point demand of protesters which includes halting use of force against protesters, unconditional release of arrested citizens; justice for the victims of police brutality, payment of compensation, and the psychological evaluation of policemen as well as increasing their salaries.

“By agreeing to do these, the Federal Government has shown that it is a listening government and is prepared to listen to suggestions that would make lives better for Nigerians,” he said.

The Coalition President said added to that, the Inspector-General of Police (IG), Mr. Mohammed Adamu has gone ahead to set up a new outfit to replace the notorious SARS while the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has also set up N200 million fund to assist victims of police brutality.

Comrade Atawodi however noted that despite the dissolution of SARS and FG’s concession to implement these reforms, that the protests have continued noting that this could be hijacked by opposition politicians and other subversive elements to cause hardship on fellow citizens .

He insisted that continuing with the protests when the cardinal point for staging it has been met would not only portray the protesters as having ulterior motives but would enable miscreants and other subversive elements mislead them into hidden, selfish and dangerous motive that will impact negatively on the nations democracy.

He said the youths should be wary that not everyone that identifies with them is doing so with a clear motive as there are people who have been looking for opportunities to hurt the current administration for either defeating them at elections or blocking channels which they corruptly enrich themselves.

He said Nigeria’s democracy came at a cost and the youths must be careful not to fall to the antics of mischief makers to throw it away.

“Nigeria has gone far with its journey into democracy and it is not at this time that we should give room to people who for selfish reasons want to turn back the hands of time to achieve their selfish aims.

“While we make demands of the government, we should be wary of naysayers and be focused on what we want so that our intentions remain clear,” he said.

The Coalition President reminded the protesters that no administration has impacted on the youths the way President Buhari has done in the last five years.

He said it was President Buhari who increased the allowances of NYSC members by a hundred percent after several past administrations had failed to do so.

He said the current administration also introduced social interventions programmes like N-power Scheme that put unemployed youths on allowances until they were able to start businesses of their own.

Comrade Atawodi said the current increase in the salary of teachers is also a demonstration of the current government’s belief in bettering the lot of the youths adding that though the SARS police unit has been quiet unprofessional in their dealings with the citizenry, that should however not allow the youths open the door to lawlessness or allow agents of destabilization plunge the nation into chaos and anarchy.

He said this year alone, president Buhari had given the go ahead for the Nigerian Army and Airforce to employ 5,000 Nigerian youths, the NDLEA 15,000 youths and is empowering at least one person per the 774 local governments in the country

He described such measures as steps that would help the youths in the long run and advised that it is better to support the government to conclude the process of reaching majority of the yours with better jobs and opportunities rather than lose it on the alter of populism.

“Some of these things take time to mature, but as far as I know the benefits are gradually trickling in and very soon, we shall be the better for it,” he stated.

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#EndSARS Crisis Eroding Credibility of APC, Political Leaders – PGF Boss



Director General of the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF) Salihu Moh. Lukman, has said that the ongoing crisis in the country is eroding the moral credibility of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and it’s leaders.

The APC chieftain said unless the current administration is able to develop a strong national response and restore peace in the country, APC will appear to be fast losing any moral credibility to present candidates for any election.

In a statement signed Thursday in Abuja, Lukman lamented the inability of so many federal government ministries and agencies to perform there functions as expected during this crisis.

“Perhaps, it is important to also state that the current crisis is eroding the moral credibility of our party, APC and our political leaders. A situation where lives of our leaders are being threatened and our party and our government demostrate weak responses is quite depressing. What is going on in Lagos State can happen to any state and any leader in an affected state can experience the same attack, if not worse. This must not be condoned and our leaders across all parts of the country must show strong solidarity and rise in defence of our leaders and Government in Lagos state. A threat to one, should be a threat to all, which is the needed reality!

“Unless we are able to develop a strong national response and restore peace in the country, APC will appear to be fast losing any moral credibility to present candidates for any election. This means winning elections in the country by APC, especially in the crisis affected areas will just be a daydream. Part of the sad reality is also that many of our political leaders live with the delusion that, if APC’s electoral viability is weakened or destroyed, they can move to other parties. All our political leaders should appreciate that the situation, as much as it is damaging to the APC as a party, it is more politically destructive to every leader of the party.

“If care is not taken, we may as well be writing our names as a generation of political leaders into a national black book. The implication of that may not be apparent at the moment. We therefore need to appeal to all our leaders to please treat the current situation with the utmost urgency it requires. This is the time when our claims to selfless service as progressive politicians is being tested, our humanity, nationalism and patriotism are being questioned. There is no doubt that our leaders are up to the task. We just need to strongly convey our appeals coming from our depressed and helpless hearts.”

According to the PGF boss, how can we have a Ministry of Police Affairs and the ministry is unable to simulate good engagement strategy with innocent young Nigerians calling for reform of the Nigeria Police? What is the advantage of democracy if a ministry cannot be able to engage the demands of citizens? Where is the Ministry of Disaster Management and Humanitarian Services in all these? Doesn’t the mandate of the ministry include initiatives to prevent disaster? Or, is disaster management limited to attending to human casualties by way of providing palliatives? Where is the Ministry of Youth in all this? How can the ministry absent itself from centres of legitimate protests of our youth for more than a week? Where is the Ministry of Defence? Where is the Ministry of Interior? Where is National Orientation Agency?

“If all the agencies of government and political appointees managing these agencies have handle their responsibilities as is expected, this crisis would have been averted. In fact, the pressure on President Buhari’s direct intervention will not have been the case.”

Lukman, however called on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently take steps to overhaul the machinery of government.

“The crisis produced by the #EndSARS protest highlight the need for the President to urgently take steps to overhaul the machinery of government if our democracy and our government is to be able to meet the expectation of citizens. It is the constitutional prerogative of the President to determine the best strategy and the details of governmental reforms aimed at overhauling the machinery of government to make them more effective in responding to the democratic needs of Nigerians.

“We also need to appeal to all Nigerians, especially our young ones, that we must all rise above our current anger, legitimate as they are. While invoking our inalienable rights to protest and struggle for better conditions in our country, we must also resist attempts by lawless people to take advantages of our actions to create anarchy resulting in the destruction of lives and property. As part of such resistance we must condemn every attempt to reduce legitimate struggles, which have potentials of developing our democracy to make it more responses to demands of citizens into sectional conflicts. Those who reduce national struggles into sectional conflicts don’t mean well for anybody. They are only opportunists, hiding behind so-called sectional interests to promote their personal agenda and therefore they are enemies of the people.

“Similarly, we must appeal to Nigerians in diaspora. It is within your right to join the campaign to make Nigeria better and every Nigerian should welcome your contribution, which is expected to come with superior knowledge of best practice across the world. However, it will be very unfortunate, if we all join the campaign to destroy our country by promoting sectional and religious hatred. No doubt, recognising that as Nigerians you also nurse the pains we are going through, your contribution is desirable and welcome but must avoid the opportunistic traps of joining the anarchistic enterprise of promoting hatred and violent conducts. Hate can only lead to destruction and self-destruction.

“Initiatives to resolve our national challenges is the responsibility of everyone. At the moment, the weight of responsibility is more on our APC leaders as much as is for all Nigerians. This is the time when for incidence a meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of APC will be urgently required to ensure a coordinated political response to the current crisis. It is possible that this is being considered as I am confident our leaders are working round the clock to ensure immediately restoration of normalcy in every part of the country.”

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#EndSARS: It’s Fake News, I Didn’t Call For War – Shettima Yerima



The leader of Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) Shettima Yerima, has called on Nigerians to disregard various fake news being attributed to him by some persons he described as “enemies of Nigeria.”

Shettima Yerima described as false and malicious claim of war and other fabrications in circulation being attributed to him, urging Nigerians and friends of the country all over the world to disregard them in totality.

In a statement the AYCF President signed on Thursday in Abuja, said he remain unapologetic in the promotion of democracy through legal and legitimate means, in lines with the nation’s constitution.

He also denied making statement regarding Tuesday Lekki shooting in Lagos.

Shettima said: ” I appeal to Nigerian at all levels to, please disregard all the false claims being attributed to me in the social media. I will never call for war, I will never call for disunity of this country, I am unapologetic democrat and I remain resolute.

“Nigerians should know that all these fabrications are coming from the enemies of this country. So, I call on Nigerians to disregard the fake news and know that such will never emanate from me.”

The Arewa group leader said he didn’t speak with newsmen anywhere in the recent times and could not have make such reckless statements been attributed to him.

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Protesters, Criminals Have Declared War on Nigerians – Professor Bewaji  



A University Don, Professor Solomon Bewaji , has described the violence that followed the EndSARS protest, as an indication that criminals have declared war on Nigeria.

Prof. Bewaji who is of the Department of History, University of Ilorin lamented that criminals have taken over the protests and have declared war on ordinary citizens of the country.

He said this is unfortunate as it has complicated matters and made life more difficult for teeming Nigerians on whose behalf the protesters claimed they’re fighting for.

Speaking with press men at his office in Unilorin, the Don said, the protesters have shown no empathy to the masses who are nearing the brunt of their actions.

Prof. Bewaji said what is going on is not a revolution but an equivalent of an attempted coup by criminals who are not happy with the reforms going on in the country hence are doing everything to upturn them.

He said while revolutions are spontaneous and borne out of genuine grievances, what is going on in Nigeria seemed to have been planned, coordinated and well funded to embarrass the government.

He said from all indications that a well written script to cause the destabilisation of the country is in play.

“Otherwise, how do you explain a situation where on the very first day that the protesters came out, they were carrying food in take away packs and distributing assorted drinks not just to themselves but to security agents on patrol,” he said.

Prof. Bewaji said the food, snacks and music from hired DJs and musicians shows that there was a budget for the protest which was far beyond what the youths could have afforded on their own.

The University Don said for the protesters to have sustained the protests long after the President had disbanded the SARS police unit,  was deliberate in order to embarrass the government and allow criminals to hijack the process.

He said if the protesters were genuine, they would have called off the protest the moment their demands were met.

“Ordinarily, they would have discontinued the protests the moment the President disbanded the SARS and the Vice President apologised, but because they want to create a window for criminals to take over, they refused to leave the streets.

“Now the criminals have taken over and they’ve started burning public buildings, attacking innocent people and have ushered in an atmosphere of mayhem and commotion all against the masses of this country,” he stated.

Our correspondent noted that the Edo State Government on Monday, imposed a 24 hour curfew on all parts of the state following a breakdown of law and order leading to the burning of public buildings and the release of prisoners by some protesters.

While the Lagos State Government also followed suit on Tuesday by declaring a 24-hour curfew on the state following similar outbreak of violence and breakdown of law and order in the state while there were cases of violence in states like Plateau, Osun, Ondo and the Federal Capital Territory.

Prof. Bewaji said the current protest is a clear departure from what obtained in the past where the demands of protesters are well articulated by identified leaders of the youths.

“But in this case, no one can tell you their leaders, they’re nowhere to be found even whe  the government has indicated interest in negotiating with them.

“If their demands are noble then they should come out and table it before our elected leaders so that yhe matter could be resolved for good, but  they’re they hiding,” he stated .

He said the masses have been put in untold hardships due to the ongoing protests as people could no longer go to work and have been forced to close their business premises while movements have been restricted even in states where there are no curfew.

The Don appealed to the youths to do the needful and pull out of the streets so as to enable the government implement their demands.

“That to me remains the most sensible thing to do because further protests would only escalate the already tense situation for the masses of this country,” he stated.

He insisted that violent protest is not the way to go on the light of the current hardship ending faced by majority of Nigerians.

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