Buhari Will Do Whatever It Takes To Prevent Repeat Of #EndSARS Protest – Minister

President Muhammadu Buhari presided over the National Security Council (NSC) meeting at the State House on November 17.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to ensure that there will be no repeat of the #EndSARS protests in the country, culminating in lootings and destruction of lives and properties.

The Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammad Dingyiadi, disclosed this to journalists on Tuesday after the President presided over the National Security Council (NSC) meeting at the State House.

“Mr President assures Nigerians that he will do whatever it takes to ensure that a repeat of the #EndSARS protest does not occur in Nigeria again,” Dingyadi said.

“Mr President assured that all stakeholders will be involved in the process of maintaining peace in the country, particularly the youth, community leaders, traditional rulers, politicians, public servants, religious leaders, etc.

“The Federal Government will continue to maintain its democratic, humane and just postures in handling security matters in the country.

“What we are saying is that government will continue to dialogue, listen and carry all stakeholders along in ensuring that there is no repeat of what happened that led to the destruction of both public and private properties”.

PHOTOS: VP Osinbajo, Service Chiefs, Others Attend As Buhari Presides Over National Security Meeting

Speaking further, Dingyadi noted that the security council highlighted with dismay, the increased cases of banditry and kidnapping especially in the northwest and north-central parts of the country.

Consequently, he said the council resolved to better equip the police with modern-day technology to handle the menace.


Watch The Video Below


 

Read Also: #EndSARS: Seun Kuti Revives Fela’s Movement Of The People, Calls For Better Governance


This is coming weeks after Nigerians took to the streets to protest incidents of police brutality and human rights violations in the country.

The demonstrations which started off peaceful across the country were, however, at some point hijacked by hoodlums and subsequently degenerated into violence that resulted in deaths, lootings and wanton destruction of property.

The unfortunate twists of events, led state governments to declare curfews as part of efforts to restore sanity.

But with many questions left unanswered and with the protests, shifting back to being strictly on social media, many have hinted at the possibility of returning to the streets to drive home their demands.

One of the most prominent incidents, fuelling the desire, especially having gained international attention is the infamous #LekkiShooting.

The incident occurred on October 20 at the Lekki Toll Gate area of Lagos State, when men in military uniform stormed the protest ground and opened fire on peaceful demonstrators.

While the army initially denied its involvement in the shootings, dismissing the reports as “fake news”, it has now come out to admit that indeed soldiers were deployed to “restore sanity” to the scene on the orders of the state government, after a curfew had been imposed.

The government is, however, yet to make any conclusive statements as to who ordered the shooting, leaving many Nigerians puzzled.

Meanwhile, most states have set up Judicial panels of inquiry and restitution to investigate cases of police brutality and to see that justice is served for all victims.

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Asides setting up the judicial panels, the last couple of weeks since the protests ended, have seen different twists including the arrest of some persons said to be financing the protests, proposing a social media bill, freezing of individuals’ bank accounts, as well as passports getting seized – actions which have all intensified speculations of the government’s attempts to clamp down on citizens’ rights.

Police Warn Against Planned Protest In Lagos

A file photo of a police officer displaying the crest of the Nigeria Police Force. PHOTO: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV

 

The Lagos State Police Command has warned residents against any form of planned protest, procession, or gathering under any guise in the state.

Mr Olumuyiwa Adejobi, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, gave the warning on Thursday in a statement on behalf of the police authorities in Lagos.

He stated that the police would resist any protest as the government and people of Lagos still nurture the wounds of the recent violence that wreaked havoc across the state, following the #EndSARS protest.

“The command wishes to inform the general public that based on intelligence gathering from relevant intelligence agencies, some unpatriotic elements or group of people have concluded plans to orchestrate another set of violence in the state, in furtherance to the recent violence, which has been analysed as dangerous and counterproductive,” the statement said.

It added, “Premised on this, the command, therefore, wishes to warn any individuals, group of students or any groups who might want to stage any form of protest, either peaceful or violent, or gathering whatsoever, to desist as the police and other security agencies will collectively and tactically resist any security threats or threats to public peace which might be triggered by protest or protesters in Lagos State.”

According to Adejobi, the police command warns parents and guardians to discourage their children or wards from embarking on any protest in the state.

He explained that the possibility of armed hoodlums hijacking such protests to cause grieve and pains like the recent past was evident.

The command’s spokesman, therefore, asked law-abiding residents to ignore any call for protest and go about their lawful businesses.

He insisted that measures have been put in place to maintain law and order, as well as public safety across the length and breadth of the state.

President Buhari Urges Nigerian Youths To Shun Protests, Present ‘Concrete, Practical Ideas’

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to the youths to end street protests and participate in meaningful discussions with the government aimed at comprehensive reforms to end all forms of police brutality against Nigerians.

The President made the appeal at the maiden edition of the National Youth Day celebration, observed on November 1, coinciding with the African Youth Day celebration.

Against the backdrop of the recent protests against police brutality in the country, leading to the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), President Buhari, who was represented by the FCT Minister, Muhammad Bello, told the gathering that the pleas of Nigerian youths have been heard by his administration.

He added that the Federal Government “now wants to hear concrete and practical ideas,” from the youths, while acknowledging their constitutional right to peaceful protests.

“You must realize that protests cannot last indefinitely. My government will not lift a hand to stop or suppress you.

“However, the fact of the matter is that other forces and actors will seek to take over your protests that they may redirect them in ways you did not intend and perhaps do not agree with.

“Every successful protest movement the world over has understood that there comes a time when activity must move from the street to the negotiation table. That time for you has come. Do not be afraid of this reality. You should welcome it,” the minister was quoted to have said in a statement signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President Media & Publicity, Garba Shehu.

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He added: “It is important that we all strive to use this moment constructively. Too many people have already sacrificed too dearly. It is our duty to use this fateful situation to move ourselves to a more just and caring society.

“As youth, you have a nation and a future to build. My government will always be your faithful partner in this essential and patriotic endeavour,” he said.
President Buhari also used the occasion to express his strong opposition to the wrongful use and imposition of violent force against any innocent, law-abiding persons, particularly young people.

“No one who is obeying the law, whether they are in line waiting for a taxi or in a peaceful protest line, should be harassed or brutalized by law enforcement agencies.

“It is because of my abiding belief in the people’s constitutional rights that we moved with dispatch to abolish SARS and to consider other reforms that will enhance the quality of law enforcement and improve the relationship between the police and public which is a pre-requisite in a just society.

“To allow protests is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of strength and belief in democracy, and faith in the innate goodness of our people.

“This also shows confidence in the ability of our government to work with the people toward a reasonable and practical resolution to any challenge,” he said.
Describing Nigerian youths as agents for social change, economic growth and sustainable development, President Buhari said his administration has established no fewer than 25 initiatives aimed at empowering youths across the country.

He noted that these noble initiatives, ongoing in the last five years, were aimed at placing Nigerian youths on the path of career development, entrepreneurship, skills development and direct employment.

“Today we will unveil the official logo of the N75 billion Nigeria Youth Investment Fund for the period of 2020 – 2023.

“This novel fund is dedicated to investing in the innovative ideas, skills and talents of Nigerian Youths and to provide our youths with a special window to access much-needed financing, business management skills and other inputs critical for sustainable enterprise,” he said.

The President announced that over one million applications have already been received since the Youth Investment Fund Portal went live on 12th of October 2020.
He listed other youth-based initiatives, consistent with his administration’s policy of positioning youths for strategic leadership in different fields of endeavour, as follows:

“The birth of the Nigerian Youth Policy in 2019, the Nigeria Youth Investment Fund in July 2020, Young Farmers Initiative, Digital Skills, Entrepreneurship, Employability and Leadership/Mentoring (DEEL) programme, which recently received an approval of N4 billion naira for implementation, and the Not Too Young to Run Act.”

Other initiatives, according to the President, include the Presidential Youth Empowerment Scheme (P-YES), the N-Power, SI and Disaster Management, the Youth Entrepreneurship Support (YES) Programme, Graduate Internship Scheme (GIS) and the Youth Enterprise with Innovation In Nigeria (YouWIN).

The President also added the $20 million Technology Fund for Young Innovators as some of the major initiatives empowering youths across the country.

Restating his call for national unity, President Buhari said Nigerian youths are better positioned to drive the indivisibility of Nigeria and collectively overcome whatever challenges bedevilling the nation.

”On this special occasion, we affirm our faith and confidence in the indivisible entity called Nigeria and in its future.

”We face many challenges but, in you, this nation has the collective ability and drive to overcome that which confronts us,” he said.

At the event themed: ‘Invest in the Youth, Secure Our Future’, the winners of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development 60-day App Challenge and Youth Innovators were recognised and received cash rewards.

#EndSARS Protest: Police Were Professional, Exercised Maximum Restraints – IGP Tells Amnesty Int’l

A file photo of IGP Mohammed Adamu. PHOTO: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun
A file photo of IGP Mohammed Adamu. PHOTO: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun

 

 

The Inspector-General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, NPM, mni has insisted that officers of the Nigeria Police Force acted professionally and exercised commendable restraints during the recent protests and ensuing violence in some parts of the country.

He said some also paid the supreme price in the process.

According to a statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, Force Headquarters, Abuja, Dcp Frank Mba on Friday, the IGP made the observation following a report by Amnesty International dated October 21, that Police personnel shot at peaceful protesters.

He described the report as untrue, misleading and contrary to all available empirical evidence.

The IGP insisted that during the protests, officers of the Force used legitimate means to ensure that the protests were carried out in a peaceful manner and in most cases, physically protected and walked side-by-side with the protesters.

He reiterated that even when the protests turned violent in some parts of the country, the officers still maintained utmost restraint and did not use excessive force in managing the situations.

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‘Discriminatory Tendencies’

Speaking further, the IGP noted that the report only covered casualties on the side of protesters, describing it as ‘discriminatory’ because the police likewise recorded several casualties.

“Available reports show that twenty-two (22) police personnel were extra-judicially killed by some rampaging protesters and scores injured during the protests. Many of the injured personnel are in life-threatening conditions at the hospitals.

“Two hundred and five (205) Police stations and formations including other critical private and public infrastructure were also damaged by a section of the protesters,” the statement read.

“Despite these unprovoked attacks, our police officers never resorted to use of unlawful force or shooting at the protesters as alleged in the report. It also beggars imagination that Amnesty International failed to mention or pay tribute to Police officers who were gruesomely murdered during the protests while serving their fatherland.

“The Force decries the discriminatory tendencies exhibited by Amnesty International as seen in the report. One wonders if in the estimation of Amnesty International, police officers are not also human beings equally entitled to the protection of their fundamental rights to life and dignity of human person.”

While noting that the Force is committed to the Federal Government’s ongoing holistic reforms of the NPF targeted at improving service delivery, positive police-citizen relationship and respect for human rights, the Police Chief enjoined Amnesty International to ensure they subject their reports to adequate scrutiny and proper verification of facts before making the reports public.

IPC, MRA Ask NBC To Withdraw Fines Against Three TV Stations Over Coverage of #ENDSARS Protests

 

Two groups, the Media Rights Agenda (MRA) and the International Press Centre (IPC) have condemned the sanctioning of three television stations by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) over the coverage of the #ENDSARS protests.

In a joint statement issued on Wednesday, the groups described the Commission’s action as an outrageous violation of the Constitution and basic principles of fair hearing which cannot be allowed to stand.

In a letter dated October 23, signed by its Acting Director-General, Prof. Armstrong Idachaba, the NBC fined each of the three stations – Channels Television, Africa Independent Television (AIT) and ARISE Television – N3 million each as penalty for their alleged use of unsubstantiated footages from social media in their coverage of the #ENDSARS protests.

To avoid further sanctions, the commission gave the companies three weeks from the date of receipt of the letter to pay the amount.

The NBC said it had earlier written to the companies on October 21, where they were “cautioned on the sustained use of Fake News, disturbing visuals, close-up shots and attacks in the coverage of the #ENDSARS protests”.

It stated that although social media may be a source of information, it is incumbent on broadcasters to verify such materials before usage, while drawing attention to some provisions of the Broadcasting Code, implying that the provisions had been breached.

No specific broadcasts were, however, mentioned.

Both organisations accused the NBC of turning itself into a “kangaroo court” and called on it to immediately reverse its decision sanctioning the three stations in order to save itself the embarrassment that both the Commission and the country would suffer locally and internationally as a result of its action.

MRA’s Executive Director, Mr Edetaen Ojo, said: “a situation where the NBC, which is so glaringly lacking in independence and subject to the direct control of political authorities, wrote the Nigeria Broadcasting Code creating the offences for which the stations were sanctioned and was the complainant in the allegations against the stations, prosecuted them and sat in judgment on the matter without even giving the stations any opportunity to defend themselves against the charges while also imposing a fine of N3 million on each of them, which it intends to collect and pocket, is offensive to any notion of fair hearing, equity or justice.”

According to Ojo, “Every Nigerian ought to be scandalized by this obscene violation of a principle that is sacrosanct not only under our Constitution but under every regional and international human rights instrument to which Nigeria is a state party. It portrays Nigeria as crude and primitive and will no doubt bring the country to ridicule.”

He pledged that his organisation would take legal action to challenge the NBC’s action.

The IPC’s Executive Director Mr Lanre Arogundade, also said: “the NBC has in this matter again constituted itself into the accuser, the prosecutor and the judge in its own case. It is indeed strange that the fines were arbitrarily imposed without giving the concerned media outlets the option of defending the allegations. All this constitutes an affront on rule of law.”

Mr Arogundade said IPC would team up with MRA to use the instrumentality of the law to challenge the absurdities perpetrated by NBC.

Lagos Catholic Archdiocese Condemns Use Of Ethnic, Religious Sentiments To Derail Protest

 

The Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos has condemned the hijacking of the peaceful protests across the country, saying that those who have brought in ethnic and religious sentiments are only aiming to derail the march to a new Nigeria.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Archbishop of Lagos, Alfred Adewale Martins, condemned the fact that the protests which started off peacefully, have degenerated into uncontrollable violence across the country and multiple divisions.

“We have witnessed an unimaginable level of vandalism and looting of both public and private properties and business not only in the Lagos but also in many other parts of our country.

“This was a sad departure from and a wicked hijack of the peaceful protests that our young people had been embarking on.

“To make matters worse, we have seen people making social media postings trying to incite ethnic and religious sentiments in order to shift focus away from a noble cause spearheaded by the young.

“Yorubaland, in general and Lagos, the commercial capital of Nigeria, in particular, has been a melting pot of people from all parts of Nigeria and indeed, from all parts of the world.

“This has been a source of strength for our country and the Church. We urge all that see such video clips and similar postings to ignore them and resist the urge to circulate them. It is very significant that some State Governors as well as many eminent Nigerians and respected groups have denounced such divisive messages,” the statement read in part.

The archbishop, therefore, called on the young people to not to allow the use of the same “old tactics of political entrepreneurs” to cause division among them and make them lose focus.

He urged them to be wise in their discernment of messages that employ ethnicity or religion in a way that excludes rather than bind people together.

According to the archbishop, the consequences of allowing such narratives to fly are too grave and the price to pay are too high and it is in the best interest of everyone to embrace harmony and peaceful co-existence so that all may live peaceably and comfortably wherever they choose to live in the country.

Rinu, Majekodunmi Selected To Join Lagos Judicial Panel On #EndSARS

 

Rinu Oduala and Majekodunmi Temitope, two Nigerian youths who have been at the forefront of the fight against police brutality and extrajudicial killings in the country, have been selected to join the Lagos Judicial Panel on SARS.

The Lagos State Governor, Babjide Sanwo-Olu announced this on Tuesday.

According to the governor, this forms part of the government’s commitment to justice and compensation for victims of police brutality.

The panel is also expected to bring justice for victims of last Tuesday’s shootings at the Lekki Toll Gate, which has been one of the major converging points of the #EndSARS protests.

Read Also: Tinubu Visits Sanwo-Olu, Demands Thorough Probe Of Lekki Shooting

 

 

Meetings are expected to hold on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm.

This is coming weeks after a series of protests broke out, demanding an end to police brutality in the country.

As the agitations progressed, there have been calls for the protesters to produce leaders who would join the government in finding solutions.

But the protesters insisted that there are no leaders in the movement, over fears that they could be compromised if selected.

The development, however, follows a careful selection of people who many believe will ensure justice is served and the voice of the youths will be well-represented.

“If you have any claims, do send them to the panel. The panel will begin to sit on Monday at the Lagos Court of Arbitration situated in Lekki,” a tweet from an official handle of the new panel read.

Hillary Clinton Calls On Buhari To Stop Killing #EndSARS Protesters

Hillary Clinton (File Photo)

 

American Politician, Hillary Clinton, has called on the Nigerian Government to stop killing #EndSARS protesters.

Clinton made the call in a tweet on Tuesday, in reaction to the shooting by officers of the Nigerian Army that occurred in the Lekki Toll Gate Area of the Lagos State killings.

“I’m calling on @mbuhari and the @hqnigerianarmy to stop killing young#EndSARS protesters. #StopNigerianGovernment,” she wrote.

 

 

The incident happened at about 7:00 pm on Tuesday.

According to one of the protesters who was still at the scene of the incident at about 10:30 pm, they were protesting peacefully when the armed security operatives came and opened fire at them.

“We were protesting peacefully after comedian, AY addressed us. There was nothing, we were still protesting peacefully. Then immediately, the street lights went off,” he told Channels TV on the News @ 10.

“People started shooting at us. We were able to recognise them, they were putting on uniform, they were military men, soldiers.

“We were lying down, waving our flags, telling them we are protesting peacefully, yet they were shooting directly at us.

“It wasn’t to drive us away, it was to kills us”.

 

 

So far, several persons are feared dead, while many others sustained gunshot wounds.

Some videos from eyewitnesses at the scene of the incident showed some persons bleeding seriously, while others tried to extract the bullets.

Others were seen administering CPR to some injured persons, to resuscitate them.

The incident comes hours after the Lagos State Government declared a 24-hour curfew as part of efforts to stop the violence which had broken out in some parts of the state by criminal elements who have been hijacking the protests.

Although the curfew was to commence at 4:00 pm, many were still seen protesting across the state.

At the Lekki Toll Gate which has been one of the major converging points, peaceful and unarmed protesters were still seen gathered in large numbers hours after the curfew was to have commenced.

The situation, however, took a turn for the worse around 7:00 pm when the security operatives stormed the area and started shooting sporadically.

Meanwhile, the state government in a tweet at 7:08 pm had stated that the curfew would not start until 9:00 pm, to allow those stuck in traffic to get to their homes.

Chile Police Arrest 600 After Protests As Referendum Looms

Demonstrators clash with riot police during the commemoration of the first anniversary of the social uprising in Chile, in Santiago, on October 18, 2020, as the country prepares for a landmark referendum.  MARTIN BERNETTI / AFP

 

Police arrested nearly 600 people after demonstrations to mark the anniversary of Chile’s social protests turned violent as rioters torched two Catholic churches, the government said Monday.

Police stations were attacked as the authorities recorded 107 serious incidents nationwide while violence continued overnight, interior ministry undersecretary Juan Francisco Galli told reporters.

The demonstration came just a week before Chileans vote in a referendum on whether to replace the dictatorship-era constitution — one of the key demands when the protest movement began in October 2019.

Galli said streets were barricaded amid “looting and attempted looting” of stores.

The violence erupted after around 30,000 protesters flocked to Santiago’s central Plaza Italia for a peaceful demonstration, the government said.

But as the afternoon wore on, clashes broke out on the periphery of the square, more than 300 meters from the main, peaceful, demonstration.

The official said there was a “very clear distinction in how the day evolved” after it began with a peaceful demonstration but ended with serious acts of violence.

The most serious incidents occurred when hooded men attacked two churches and set them alight.

One church close to Plaza Italia was burned to the ground as hooded protesters cheered, while a second place of worship was looted and also suffered fire damage.

The small Church of the Assumption, which was destroyed in Sunday’s violence, is known as the “artists’ parish,” according to local press. The building dated back to 1876.

– Nationwide clashes –
Clashes also occurred in other neighborhoods of Santiago and in cities around the country, resulting in 580 arrests, 287 in the capital alone, Galli said.

“In these events, there is no demonstration, there is no demand that is acceptable,” he said.

Firefighters managed to get that blaze under control.

There were clashes between groups of football hooligans in one Santiago neighborhood, while protesters in Plaza Italia doused a statue with red paint.

Interior and Security Minister Víctor Perez, said on Sunday that the violence had come from a “minority” of protesters.

The images of the blazing churches was a stark reminder of the months of violent protests that broke out in Santiago last October 18, initially over a rise in metro fares.

The unrest quickly broadened into generalized protests against the country’s stark inequalities and left some 30 dead and thousands wounded.

Demonstrators on Sunday also called for their countrymen to vote to “approve” the proposed constitutional change.

Aerial view of a demonstration with a banner reading “We will overcome” on the commemoration of the first anniversary of the social uprising in Chile, in Santiago, on October 18, 2020, as the country prepares for a landmark referendum.  MARTIN BERNETTI / AFP

 

“This is the opportunity to say ‘enough!’ We’re here and we’re going to vote for ‘Approve,'” Paulina Villarroel, a 29-year-old psychologist, told AFP.

On October 25, more than 14 million Chileans will decide whether to amend the constitution.

The referendum to decide whether to change the constitution established under the military rule of General Augusto Pinochet (1973-90) was originally due to take place in April but had to be postponed as the country of 18 million reeled from the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

For those supporting a yes vote — notably the leftist opposition — a new constitution would allow for the establishment of a new and fairer social order in one of the Latin American countries most marked by economic and other forms of inequality.

AFP

Youths Continue #EndSARS Protest In Surulere, Use Dogs As Guards

A combination of photos from the scenes of the protest in Surulere on October 17, 2020. Photos: Twitter – @naijabased and @UncleMaazi.

 

Youths in the Surulere area of Lagos have continued the #ENDSARS protest as demonstration held across the state.

The protest which held on Saturday witnessed a new twist as demonstrators embark on the march with dogs as guards.

This is apparently in a bid to keep away thugs and other interested parties from disrupting the demonstration, as witnessed in some parts of Lagos.

Notable among the protesters were some middle-aged women and physically challenged persons who also came out in a bid to make their voices heard.

Just like their counterparts in other parts of the state, they are calling for an end to police brutality in the country.

The protesters also stressed the need to reform the police, adding that there was no going back on holding the government accountable for the actions of its officials.

This comes five days after some police officers in Surulere shot at a crowd of protesters who were peacefully exercising their fundamental human rights.

The action of the security officials led to the death of a man who was hit by a bullet while a few others were left injured.

In his reaction, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu condemned the incident, saying the orderly room trial of the police officers began on Friday.

He had also revealed the identities of the policemen as Inspector Bagou Michael, Inspector Ekpoudom Etop, Sergeant Nnamdi Majura, and Sergeant Akinyemi Benson.

Some of the highlights of Saturday’s protest are captured in the photo and video tweets below:

#ENDSARS Protesters Hit Ojodu Berger Roads, Insist No Going Back

 

A large crowd of youths have hit the streets of the Ojodu Berger axis of Lagos State to demand an end to police brutality.

The protest, which is part of the #ENDSARS demonstration ongoing in other parts of the state, held on Saturday.

A sizeable number of protesters were seen marching towards the entry points into Lagos, chanting various solidarity songs.

They comprise young Nigerians from various walks of life, including a commercial tricycle rider who branded his trike ‘END SARS’

The protesters proceeded to the New Garage end of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.

This has led to a gridlock on the inbound and outbound sections of the highway, leaving travellers and motorists stranded for hours.

A combination of photos of the scenes of the #ENDSARS protest held in the Ojodu Berger axis of Lagos State on October 17, 2020.

 

It is more than a week since the #ENDSARS protests started with the population of protesters increasing by the day and spreading to more locations not just in Lagos, but across the country.

While some political, traditional, and religious leaders have shown their support for the protesting youths, others urged them to sheath their swords.

The protesters have, however, insisted that they would not back down as their demands were beyond the call for an end to police brutality.

They are also calling for a total reform of the police and good governance, among other demands.

#EndSARS Protesters Hold Jummat Prayers On The Road

 

#EndSARS protesters in Abuja on Friday continued their protests across the city, demanding justice for all victims of police brutality and killings.

While they continue to press for their demands to be met, the protest took another twist as the Muslim youths observed their Jummat prayers on the road.

This comes 24 hours after the Federal Capital Territory Security Committee directed that all street demonstrations, protests, and processions will not be allowed anywhere within its environs henceforth.

According to a statement by the Chief Press Secretary, Anthony Ogunleye, on Thursday, the development became necessary due to the dangers posed by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Muslim #EndSARS protesters hold Jummat prayers in Abuja on Friday. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ChannelsTV

 

Muslim protesters in Lagos also did the same as they held their Jummat prayers at the protest ground near the House of Assembly Drive, Alausa.

 


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Days after the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, set up a new unit called the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team, to replace the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Unit (SARS), the protests only seem to be gaining more momentum as many Nigerians suspect the new unit may amount to a mere change of name.

As the protest continued on Friday with many rejecting the SWAT unit, the police have said no member of SARS will be in the unit and referred to the unit as Tactical Unit rather than SWAT.

The police did not state whether it has changed the name of the unit from SWAT to Tactical Unit as an image (below) the force tweeted on Wednesday suggested.

 

 

Beyond setting up a new unit, prospective members of the new team are expected to undergo a psychological and medical examination to ascertain their fitness and eligibility for the new assignment.

The IGP has also ordered all personnel of the disbanded SARS to report to the Force headquarters in Abuja for debriefing, psychological and medical examination.

While a time-frame for the medical evaluation has not been disclosed, the IGP was quoted to have said in a statement by the Force PRO, Frank Mba, that the officers are expected to undergo the process as a prelude to further training and reorientation before being redeployed into mainstream policing duties.

Read Also: IGP Orders All Disbanded SARS Officials To Report For Psychological Examination

The medical examination will be carried out by a newly set-up Police Counselling and Support Unit (PCSU), a unit which the Force says will, henceforth, engage in psychological management, reorientation and training of the officers of the force deployed for tactical operations and other duties.

“The unit, which is domiciled with the Force Medical Department and coordinated by the Force Medical Officer, has its membership drawn from among psychiatrists, psychologists, medics, pastors, and imams, public relations practitioners, civil society and other human rights groups with relevant qualification and expertise,” the statement read in part.