The United Nations is aware of the recent protest by young Nigerians against police brutality and will make the necessary effort to ensure the issues raised by the youths are resolved.
UN Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, stated this on Tuesday when she appeared on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
“What is the UN doing about that? We have been asked to provide support in three particular areas – first to make sure that these processes themselves can be stood up and can be ones that everyone is engaging in, and that can see the test of time over the next months and perhaps, years because this is a transformation that is going to take time,” she said.
According to the deputy UN chief, the second area where the UN’s intervention is needed is to support the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in setting up the panels that will investigate some of the issues raised by the youths and come up with resolutions in the shortest possible time.
She identified the third area as the support required to underpin the Police Act of 2020 to ensure that the reforms would take root and allow for a communication strategy to enable the government to inform people on time that it can follow the process and see what was happening.
Mohammed noted that since the beginning of the #EndSARS protest, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres kept a close eye on how the demonstration was evolving.
She hinted that the UN was always involved in Nigeria’s affairs because the country was very much a part of the organisation.
“The UN support to the government is to make sure that we can put in those platforms, we can continue to support the bridge-building and the police reforms, the other governance reforms that have to be put in place to make this a reality in the short and in the long time,” the deputy secretary-general said.
For her, #EndSARS protest is an incredible movement of young people who are well-organised, well-intentioned, and have legitimate concerns and came together to make that felt.
Mohammed commended the courage of the youths for making some demands of the government on issues that have been worsened over time.
She said, “I think that was a good thing. I certainly was proud of young people that I knew were part of this but very quickly, we have to understand that when you go into a protest – and let’s remember we were all young and activists at one time – that you have to have an endgame.
“And in this particular case, there were demands made of government and the youths succeeded because, in the shortest possible time, the government responded to say ‘we are going to take care of these first issues that you have raised and many more that were raised thereafter.”
“That came to be, means that there is an engagement and that engagement needs to continue; it needs to continue by young people making sure they are there and pushing for those demands that they made to actualise.
“Government has to ensure that it has processes in place that are genuine, that we have confidence-building measures because trust is broken on both sides, and that we can move forward from the times of the protest,” the UN deputy chief added.