Mujiburrahman who admitted it is high time the IGP must purge the criminal element of the force, reminded there are still men and women of integrity in the security outfit.
The Kano Community Policing Committee (KCPC) has challenged the Inspector General of Police, Muhammad Adamu to go the extra mile beyond the recent banning of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in the force.
The group advocated thorough investigation and subsequent prosecution of the bad eggs among operatives of the proscribed SARS to restore public confidence in the leadership of the police force.
Besides, the committee warned the police to ensure a proper mechanism to checkmate the recruitment of men and women into Community Policing to prevent similar operational challenges posed by SARS.
The IGP, Mohammad Adamu on Monday declared the immediate outlaw of SARS after the nation contained with the overwhelming outcry and campaign of #EndSARS protest both on social media and on major cities of the Federation against further existence of the police unit.
Addressing journalists in Kano, leader of the implementation committee of Kano Community Policing, Barrister Sheikh Mujiburrahman who applauded the tenacity of the protesters who raised against the excesses of Police operatives equally praised the urgent response of the IGP in proscribing the unit.
Barrister Mujiburrahman who believed that protest is a legitimate right of citizens however called to end the prolong protest even after the pronouncement of the ban of SARS to avert the possibility of a state of anarchy.
He appealed on the police to release those arrested for protesting against the operations of SARS adding the scrapping of the unit has eventually vindicated the actions of the hangry youths who occupied the streets.
“There are men of integrity within the police service to run whatever force that will replace the SARS. There are those who are innocent within the force that should be used in replacing the bad eggs.
” As committee for the implementation of Community Policing in Kano, we want to suggest that proper machinery should be put in place by the Police to checkmate the recruitment of men and women for Community Policing in the country just to avoid similar problem SARS posed to the nation.
“We also want to call for the release of those arrested by SARS unlawful and those arrested during protest across the country because they have been vindicated by the banning of SARS and unless if they have committed crimes for which they will be prosecuted in a court of law,” Mujiburrahman noted.
As a second week of protests began and the government made new announcements, many wondered how long the movement would last.
Protests against police brutality in Nigeria have brought Africa’s largest city to a standstill and dominated social media, channelling anger among the frustrated youth that has forced the government to listen.
From raising funds online to influencers drawing big crowds, the campaign has topped Twitter worldwide and received support from some of Africa’s biggest celebrities.
In Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and other cities, young protesters have sang and danced, sprayed graffiti and snapped themselves for Instagram as they brandish placards reading “stop police violence”, “no justice, no peace”.
“This is unprecedented,” Udo Jude Ilo from the Open Society Initiative in West Africa told AFP, pointing out that protests in Nigeria are normally organised by political parties or unions.
“Young people who are usually seen as removed from governance were now asking the hard questions.”
The movement first targeted the police’s notorious federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) after a video of an officer allegedly killing a man went viral.
The hashtag “EndSARS” was trending worldwide on Twitter late last week, part of the campaign led by young people in Africa’s most populous country, where the median age is 18.
The government announced on Sunday that it was disbanding the unit — which has long been accused of unlawful arrests, torture and extrajudicial killings — and that an independent body would investigate abuse.
But the government has previously promised to end the unit and not followed through, so the protests have continued and even spread, the country’s youth vowing to hold the authorities accountable.
– ‘Learnt not to trust’ –
“It’s no news to us that things are said but not actually done,” said Anita Izato, a young lawyer based in the capital Abuja.
“We’ve learnt not to trust until we see actions.”
“For me it’s personal because I have five brothers, and police usually target young men,” said the 24-year-old, who helped spearhead demonstrations.
In a country ruled by an entrenched elite dominated by ageing politicians, it is most often the young who suffer from the impact of corruption, violence and a lack of opportunities.
Victims of police abuse in Nigeria are often between 16 and 35 years old according to data collected by SBM Intelligence, a research and data consultancy.
“Mobilisation has been huge because the youth actually faces an injustice that they can all relate to, that goes beyond tribes and family backgrounds,” Leo Dasilva, a 28-year-old equity investor and real estate developer who has nearly 100,000 followers on Twitter, told AFP.
One of the main differences with previous protests, according to SBM Intelligence analyst Confidence MacHarry, is that internet penetration has grown in recent years and police brutality is now often shown and shared online.
Obong Roviel, who has nearly 300,000 Twitter followers, is one of many who has been galvanising support — but he rejects the term “leader”.
“I’m just a conscientious citizen like others affected by police brutality. I’m not an activist, I don’t play any role, I just use my voice,” the 23-year-old told AFP.
“There is no leader and that is why the protests have been sustained this long,” he said.
“This mobilisation has been all about the connections of the youth, the ones out there on the streets, raising funds, using their influence correctly, the youths who are public figures telling everyone to stand firm and the youths in diaspora that really care.”
– Stars back protests –
Fuelling the protests has been the high-profile support from some of Africa’s biggest stars who have previously been seen as steering clear of politics.
Musician Davido was at the forefront of protests in Abuja while Afropop star Wizkid made a noticed appearance at a gathering in front of the Nigerian embassy in London.
“That matters,” music journalist Oris Aigbokhaevbolo told AFP.
“There is a hunger for pop musicians to assume leadership in the country, especially in the south where Afropop stars are the most popular figures across social classes.”
American rapper Kanye West also joined in on Monday, tweeting that he stood with his “Nigerian brothers and sisters to end police brutality.”
“We’ll rest when we get results. We’ll rest when we get a better Nigeria. We’ll rest when police brutality totally disappears,” Izato responded.
There is still much uncertainty surrounding the fate of officers suspected or accused of human rights violations as well as the shape and form of the police unit that will replace SARS.
This protest led to the announcement of SWAT which will serve as a replacement of SARS.
Nigerian youths have rejected the new tactical police unit, SWAT, which was announced by the Inspector General of Police, yesterday, October 13.
There has been an ongoing protest against police brutality and SARS, as Nigerian youths across the country have voiced their grievances over the extortion, killing, rapping and kidnapping of youths in the country.
However, the Nigerian youths have aired their opinion, as they call on the federal government to stop the introduction of SWAT, since the same security operatives will be redeployed to the new unit.
The IGP also ordered all operatives of the disbanded SARS to report in Abuja for debriefing and medical examination.
Deji Adeyanju, popular activist, has reacted to the formation of a new unit to replace the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS.
Adeyanju, who is the convener of Concerned Nigerian expressed hope that the police won’t deploy criminals to man the new unit.
Recall with Noble Reporters Media that the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Adamu had announced the formation of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team to “fill the gaps” arising from the dissolution of SARS.
However, Adeyanju in a tweet wrote: “They have created another unit called SWAT. Hope they are not planning to redeploy the same armed robbers there? #SARSMUSTEND”