The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), President of Nigeria has reacted to the ongoing protests against brutality and extortion by operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad going on in Abuja, Oyo, Lagos, Edo State and other parts of Nigeria.
His Excellency President Buhari has directed Adamu Mohammed the Inspector-General of Police, Adamu Mohammed, to reform the FSARS.
He gave the instruction in the middle of a meeting with the IGP on Friday.
President Buhari also pleaded to protesters to be calm assuring them that everything will be fine.
He tweeted, “I met again with the IGP tonight. Our determination to reform the police should never be in doubt. I am being briefed regularly on the reform efforts ongoing to end police brutality and unethical conduct, and ensure that the Police are fully accountable to the people.
“The IG already has my firm instructions to conclusively address the concerns of Nigerians regarding these excesses, & ensure erring personnel are brought to justice. I appeal for patience and calm, even as Nigerians freely exercise their right to peacefully make their views known.
“The vast majority of men and women of the Nigeria Police Force are patriotic and committed to protecting the lives and livelihoods of Nigerians, and we will continue to support them to do their job.”
The president’s intervention is coming a few days after hundreds of Nigerians took to the streets in a wave of protests against police violence that have left two dead.
According to our source, one protestor and one police officer were killed on Thursday while another sustained life-threatening injuries amid a protest in the Ughelli, Delta State.
On Friday, protestors gathered peacefully in Lagos; but in Abuja and Osun State there were violence.
The movement initially targeted FSARS, widely accused of unlawful arrests, torture, and murder, but has since broadened to include all police forces.
The FSARS unit was earlier suspended on Sunday from routine patrols.
Several Nigerian celebrities have expressed support for the protesters.
Nigerians in Abuja, Oyo, Lagos, Edo, and some other states across the country have taken to the streets to request the total disbandment of the FSARS police unit.
There were more than 2.4 million tweets with #EndSARS on Friday. Several celebrities also expressed support for the protesters.
The squad has been accused of been notorious and their notoriety has been described as one that defies human comprehension and reeks of outright incompetence, deliberate violations of human rights, extra-judicial killings, and unbridled extortion.