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PFN: #EndSARS protest is for new Nigeria


By  Adeola Ogunlade

Lagos Chapter of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria has described the ongoing EndSARS protest as a call for a new Nigeria Nigeria where equity, righteousness, justice, equal access to opportunities and national opportunity reigns

It’s also urge the government to put in measures for a total overhaul of the police force.

PFN made this call in a statement made available to The Nation  yesterday and signed by its Chairman Bishop Sola Ore.

It states, “as a body, we believe that the strident cries and calls by our young people is, in reality, a call for a new Nigeria where equity, righteousness, justice, equal access to opportunities and national opportunity reigns. It will be wise to give attention to these cries as it is in effect a desire that is burning in the hearts of all Nigerians regardless of tribe or religion.”

The body traced the history of police brutality from the time Dele Udoh; the celebrated Nigerian US-based athlete was shot dead in 1981, to the more recent murder of Jamiu Isaq Udoh was shot dead following an argument with a police officer in Lagos.

The common trend in all the murders according to the Christian body is the non-prosecution of the killer cops.

It noted further that in the last couple of years the murderous activities of killer cops have soared to new heights of notoriety and impunity.

“Our young people and children are being hunted down, killed, extorted, raped and murdered in the most gruesome manner, while the police affairs ministry, the national assembly and the leadership of the Nigerian Police and the Presidency have looked on with a frightening lack of concern and empathy.”

While condemning the barbaric activities of some members of the SARS unit particularly and other officers of the Nigerian Police Force in general it called for the disbanding of the unit insisting that they are beyond reform.

Read Also: EndSARS: Kogi inaugurates 10-man committee on police excesses

It described the swift change of its name from SARS to SWAT by the Inspector General as insensitive to public opinion and does not seem to have been very well thought out.

It called on the authorities not to redeploy these men to other units without subjecting them to scrutiny while those found guilty of crime should be tried in the law court.

“We call on the authorities to ensure that all officers and men of the NPF no matter how highly ranked who are culpable in any acts of unleashing violence against protesters, who are culpable in acts of murder, kidnapping, extortion, assault, rape, intimidation of citizens to be prosecuted in an open and transparent manner.”

The prevailing culture in the police in the words of the PFN “is oppressive to the average citizen and seems to be skewed to protect the rich and powerful and oppress the weak and the poor.”

It asked that “government should set up an independent judicial panel of inquiry that will investigate the SARS unit and determine the culpability or otherwise of its men and officers in the numerous acts of vileness alleged of them, many of which have been captured on camera.”

The fellowship noted further that public confidence in the force is at an all-time low and that it cannot be trusted to reform itself, urging the President “to set up a commission that will propose appropriate legislative and organizational reforms for the Nigerian Police.”

It also observed that there is a need to look into the poor remuneration, living, and operating conditions of the men and officers of the NPF adding that “it is important for their all-around wellbeing that these areas must be improved very drastically.”

It called the young people to be firm in their protest, do it peacefully, and be mindful of the rights of others adding, “the future is yours, and that future is here.”

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