Friday, April 05, 2019 07.30PM /
Ottoabasi Abasiekong for Proshare WebTV
The Recent Killing of Kolade Johnson a 36 year old father of one in Mangoro area of Lagos State by an officer of the Special Anti-Cultism Squad, received widespread condemnation from the citizens to even the Federal Government.
This brought to the fore the need for the urgent reform of the Nigerian Police pushed by Advocacy groups across the country.
To show their resolve that the issues of incessant arrests, brutality and mindless killing of citizens by law enforcements over no clear evidence of crime is addressed, the ENDSARS ReformNG Group organized peaceful protests across the country.
It was marked from Abuja, Lagos, Oyo to Osun amongst other states of the Federation.In Lagos the ENDSARS ReformPoliceNG gathered at the popular Afrika Shrine which was at the invitation of renowned Afro-Beat musician Femi Kuti.
Femi Kuti the son of Afro-Beat legend who hosted the group forum and peaceful protest, said he identified with the unfortunate incidents of mindless killings of innocent Nigerians, by law enforcement agents in the country.
He believed that in partnering with the ENDSARS ReformPoliceNG he was providing a platform that will give voice to the voiceless in the country.
The award-winning musician called for a total reform of the Nigerian police force that will cover the training and improved welfare package for the officers.
Mr Segun Awosanya the Convener of the ENDSARS ReformPoliceNG giving his remarks at the press parley said “The brutality of the Police Force goes far back to our past; but the current tragic spike in the killings of innocent Nigerians stems from the ill-thought out repeal of the operational procedures by the IGP on assumption of office three months ago. As we all recall the operational procedures- procedures negotiated with the police hierarchy by civil rights campaigners- were put in place to stem the impunity of the killer elite squads - SARS, SACS, SAKS - at least as a stop-gap measure pending the passage of the Police Reform Bill 2018. To date, the rationale for the repeal of the operational procedures remains a puzzle”.
Speaking further Awosanya decried the fact that the country was saddled with a Police Force that operated outside the bounds of law, without operational restraints.
This according has led to the culture of impunity, spawned by such inhuman chants of police officers like “I will kill you and Nothing will happen” and “I must kill someone today", which has resulted into killer squads that reign supreme and some law enforcement agents that have gone rogue, killing and maiming defenceless citizens.
He stressed that for clarity, the Federal Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department (FCIID), with its concomitant substructure at the level of the States Police Commands (SCIID), can adequately take care of the responsibilities of SARS and other hybrid squads, as it was in the past.
“This particular demand, among other demands, is driven by the insistence that our country and its security forces place a premium on the lives of citizens, particularly the youth who have become the target practices of the menacing operatives of the killer squads of the Police Force ” Awosanya said.
The Convener of the ENDSARS ReformPoliceNG Advocacy group called for justice to be served for the killings of Emeka Ojinze (23 years), Linda Angela Igwetu (23 years), Richard Peter Gora (22 years), Sofiyat Yekin (23 years), Mrs Kudirat, Anita Akapson, Kolade Johnson (36 years), Ademola Moshood (the okada rider who was killed over N200), the little girl in Ikorodu tragically felled by a stray bullet and other unreported killings by trigger happy Policemen, demanding that all officers responsible for the killings be brought to book.
To this effect, Awosanya also listed out 6 key demands which include;
Also speaking at the ENDSARS rally DJ Spinall a popular Nigerian music celebrity said it was time to put an end to the impunity of some erring police officers, stating that he was in full support of the reform of the Nigerian police force.