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ENDSARS PROTEST- Amnesty International calls for reformation in governance system

Grace Okon

The Amnesty International Board Chairperson, Auwal Ibrahim Rafsanjani, has called for reformation in the governance system in the country.

He made the disclosure at the press conference to mark the one-year anniversary of the END SARS protest in Abuja.

The Board Chairperson said there is a need to take decisive solutions that can improve governance in the country, stating that one of the reasons why the END SARS protest occurred is due to unemployment, poverty, outright looting, and stealing by public officials.

“Rather than the government addressing the matter, they are making all sorts of allocations against the people who come out to say they need a reformation in the governance system in the Country. There is no justice for victims of police brutality and despite all promise of reform, police impunity still goes on.”

Mr Rafsanjani stated that undermining the END SARS protest clearly shows a serious failure to democracy.

“Democracy allows freedom of expression, freedom of movement, and allows citizens to express their view, and this was what END SARS was doing until the Government officials sent hoodlums to come and attack those who were carrying out a peaceful protest. One year after Government’s promise is still far fetch, no results or sincerity in dealing with those attackers on the END SARS protest.”

“We   have seen the compensation promised by the government for victims, and also many Nigerians who have been wrongly accused and illegally arrested and detained are still not released or clear unfortunately including the freezing of their bank account which is unacceptable.”

Mr Rafsanjani added that nothing has changed in the country because police reform has not been carried out with sincerity and commitment.

“What we were agitating for has not been carried out with all sincerity and commitment, especially in terms of police brutality, extortion, and corruption. The result of corruption in the security sector has thrown us into a serious threat.  If insecurity and also the reform is farfetched as the END SARS Officers are still in the same police force, and nobody has been sanctioned.  Non punished, non-warned of all that they did.”

He further noted that the security recruitment process needed to be cross-checked because the way and manner people bribe their way into the security system is alarming and because security is an important sector we need in Nigeria.

The Country representative Amnesty International Osia Ojigho, added that Amnesty International is calling on Nigerian authorities to put words to action and decisively end police impunity, use pro-government thugs to violently disperse, and undermine peaceful protest.

He said the #ENDSARS protesters must be thoroughly, independently, impartially, and transparently investigated, and suspected perpetrators brought to justice in fair trials.

“One year after #ENDSARS protest ended in a brutal crackdown by Nigeria security forces in Abuja, Lagos, Rivers State, Anambra, and many other parts of the country, and yet no one has been brought to justice for the torture, violence, and killings.

She added that the investigative panel set up to look into police brutality have so far been marred by prolonged adjournments, intimidation of witnesses by police lawyers, and the failure of police officers to appear as witnesses to observe reports verified by Amnesty, and even the panel have failed to sit in some states while others went for an indefinite break.

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