The Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has backed agitations by youths calling for outright scrapping for an outright scrapping of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit of Nigeria Police Force, saying the actions showed that the nation’s youth are ready to demand good governance.
It would be recalled that after days of protests both online and offline by youths calling for outright scrapping of the unit over alleged brutality and killings of innocent Nigerians, the Inspector-General of Police, Adamu Muhammad, yesterday dissolved SARS in line with yearnings of Nigerians.
This is coming as he also disclosed that officers attached to the unit nationwide would be redeployed to other police formations and commands across the country in line with demands by Nigerians protesting extra-judicial killings by SARS operatives.
The police boss explained that dissolution which takes immediate effect would be done across the 36 State Police Commands and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) where they hitherto existed in response to yearnings of the Nigerian people.
However, despite disbandment of the unit by Adamu, Nigerians on Monday return to the streets, mounting roadblocks on roads and laid siege at public places to demand the President’s pronouncement on the law enforcement agency.
The development by the protesters led to an early morning gridlock on bridges and major roads including Lekki-Epe expressway, forcing many commuters and motorists to spend several man-hours on the road.
Lending his support for the protesters on Monday through a series of post on his social media handle, the monarch said that it was pleasing seeing Nigerians, particularly youths taking steps to right many wrongs across the country.
He said that his daughter had also experienced the SARS brutality while on her way to airport in Lagos, an experience he claimed, almost claimed her life despite being a young female who should enjoy larger protection from uniform men.
According to him, the ENDSARS movement has brought nothing but joy to me. Finally, the youths are awake, with one voice and a common goal. I understand your plight, my 25-year-old daughter had a nasty experience with SARS, almost losing her life.
“On her way to the airport, she was stopped and terribly ransacked and surrounded by fully armed plainclothes policemen in a bus, detained for close to 30mins of thorough questioning. Imagine a young female for that matter, all her belongings completely searched all because she was with a laptop on an official assignment from her office in Lagos. I can only imagine the countless ones that have lost their lives from such ordeals, may their souls rest in peace.
“I assure you that this is the beginning of greater things to come in Nigeria. I implore you to demand for more, but plead with you to do so in a peaceful manner, as anything outside of that will cause unnecessary havoc for all.
“I have been informed of many innocent souls that were arrested and currently been detained, be rest assured that I am pursuing the matter and they will be set free. To the men and women of the Nigerian police force, be assured that this movement is also for you, we know you are humans also and your reality is as a result of your environment.
“This movement demands better on your behalf, and is aimed at pushing the government to do better for you and elevate your standard of living. Do not persecute your advocates. God bless Nigerian youths and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the post read.