UGRFP recently revealed that the FG not being able to tackle the main causes of police extra-judicial killings before setting up the new unit proved that it would eventually fail too.
According to a recent statement via the Executive Director, Shalom Olaseni, using force on peaceful protesters cannot solve anything at this time and the leaders should instead focus on solving the problems highlighted by the citizens.
He added that even if it is commendable that Buhari disbanded SARS, doing nothing about the order demands like the instant identification of killer cops for prosecution and compensation payment made to several victims of fatal police brutality is very wrong.
His words, “In respecting people’s right to peaceful protest, the government has a duty beyond listening to their complaints to equally keeping protesters safe in the exercise of their rights.”
”The bold step to dismiss 37 officers, in spite of its operational constraints”, adding that by strengthening the commission,
“Nigeria would indeed be positioning itself for much-needed gains in its policing system.”
“Convinced that the right to peaceful protests is subsumed under the constitutional right to movement, assembly, and association, stressing that these rights are the right to the dignity of the human person which is emphasised in several human rights charter that is legally binding on Nigeria as a signatory.”
“UGRFP wishes to further note that despite best intentions, the setting up of a new tactical unit christened SWAT was a tad hasty as more efforts should have been channelled into addressing the root causes of police violence while putting in place sufficient safeguards to prevent further abuse.
“This could have taken the form of dismissing cops with severe disciplinary issues, setting up an internal inquiry to identify others within the system for the prosecution, massive training, and psycho-social evaluations for the police all conducted transparently and thoroughly. Such a focus would have driven public trust and earned the police sufficient time to put its affairs in order so as to help it meet the other demands of the peaceful protesters.
“While it is commendable that the Nigerian government made the decision to disband the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (F-SARS) whose notoriety and alleged violations of peoples rights, rape, extortion, and outright murder led to calls for its dissolution, government’s failure to undertake other demands such as the immediate identification of killer cops for prosecution and compensation payment made to verifiable victims of fatal police brutality further deepened the people’s distrust for what many considered “half-measures” by the federal government.
“UGRFP wishes to appeal for calm from the public, particularly the understandably enraged young population who have suffered casualties in their numbers while demanding for a right to live free from police brutality. The grievances of the youths of Nigeria which includes, but is not restricted to, police brutality, while justified, must also continue to be demanded peaceably and with regards to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Nigeria.”
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