The Nigeria Presidency on Tuesday said the Presidential Panel on the Reform of the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad has approved the five-point demands put forward by youths that have been protesting across the country.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, disclosed this in a statement titled, ‘Presidential panel on police reforms swings into action, plays 5-point demand of protesters.’
Adesina said following directives by the President, Muhammadu Buhari on the dissolution of SARS, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, convened a meeting with stakeholders, agreeing to meet demands.
He said the demands acceded to included halting use of force against protesters and unconditional release of arrested citizens.
According to the presidential spokesman, the meeting, organised by the Office of the Inspector General of Police and National Human Rights Commission, was a multi-stakeholders’ forum attended by leaders and representatives of civil society organisations in Nigeria, activists from the entertainment industry and the #EndSARS movement and development partners.
He said the Ministry of Police Affairs and Police Service Commission were also present at the meeting that affirmed that the five-point demands of the protesters and the #EndSARS movement are genuine concerns and will be addressed by the government.
He quoted a communiqué of the meeting signed by the IGP and Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, Tony Ojukwu, as, “Following the public protests regarding various forms of human rights violations by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad and the consequent disbandment of the unit by the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, there arose the need for stakeholder engagement to build trust and restore public confidence in law enforcement.
“The agitations also brought to the fore, the need to implement the recommendations of the Presidential Panel on the Reform of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad.
“The Forum was addressed by the Inspector General of Police and the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission.
“The Forum collectively: welcomed the dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad by the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu; reaffirmed the constitutional rights of Nigerians to peaceful assembly and protest; further affirmed the sanctity of life of every Nigerian and the role of the Police in protecting this right; affirms that the five-point demands of the protesters and the ENDSARS movement are genuine concerns and will be addressed by the government.’’
Adesina added that the forum noted that the dissolution of SARS presents an opportunity to embark on comprehensive reforms aimed at repositioning the Nigerian Police Force as a modern, responsive and citizens-centred law enforcement organisation.