More EndSARS protests hit Abuja as IGP calls for calm
…Says police will start training of new unit next week
More protests have hit Abuja, the nation’s capital on Monday as huge crowds thronged major streets to demand fundamental changes in the country’s policing system.
From Central Area to the highbrow Wise 2, Jabi and Utako, the protesters in huge numbers, brandished placards and banners with varied inscriptions demanding justice for the victims of the SARS brutality.
The protesters were disrupted by the police officers who inflicted injuries on many of them on Sunday at the time the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu announced the dissolution of the allegedly notorious police outfit.
The protesters defied the police authorities and staged even bigger protests on Monday, which paralyzed traffic in major areas of the city.
They have marshalled Five demands, which include: immediate release of arrested protesters; Justice for all deceased victims of police brutality and appropriate compensation for their families and Setting up an independent body to oversee the investigation and prosecution of all reports of Police misconduct (within 10days).
They also demanded that in line with the new Police Act psychological evaluation of retraining ( to be confirmed by an independent body) of all disbanded SARS officers before they can be redeployed and increase in police salary so that they are adequately compensated for protecting lives and property of citizens.
Meanwhile the IGP has appealed to the ENDSARS protesters to be calm as the police have mapped out strategies to commence training of a new outfit to replace the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) which will begin next week.
Adamu said this when he received music icon, David Adeleke also known as Davido, in his office at Force headquarters over the EndSARS protests in Abuja and other cities.
Davido had in his remarks demanded that all those SARS Officers involved in rights violations must be brought book adding that the victims family have to be compensated.
The IGP assured that the new outfit would be intelligence -driven, properly trained and only act on special occasions that require their attention
He added that the unit would be made up of ” fresh personnel with a fresh orientation and not officers from the scrapped unit,” noting that opportunities would be created for members of the public to participate in and make inputs to the formation of the new unit.
He lauded Davido‘s visit as the best way to deal with the current problem promising that with the formation of the new unit the challenges that rocked SARS will be addressed.
“We disbanded SARS yesterday. So protesters should calm down and give us time to fix the problem. The general public will be part of the process of getting a new outfit.
“I’m talking to you so I will keep talking to many others and get civil societies involved and get their input towards the new unit,” Adamu said.
He also assured that the police will investigate all cases of brutality and bring perpetrators to justice. He said “The issue of compensation to the families of those affected by SARS’ would be addressed when investigations are concluded.
“We want justice to be done and justice will be done,” he said. He said officers of the disbanded outfit would be retrained and given other responsibilities in the Force, but will not be reabsorbed into the new unit.
“We admit the trust gap is wide but we will work to bridge that gap,” he said.