#EndSARS: Governors Issue Fresh Directive To IGP, Says SWAT Timing Wrong

Governors of the 36 states of Nigeria has ordered the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, to arrest and prosecute policemen responsible for attacks and killing of #EndSARS protesters. The 36 state governors made this known in a communique by Governor Kayode Fayemi, chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), issued at the end […]

Governors of the 36 states of Nigeria has ordered the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, to arrest and prosecute policemen responsible for attacks and killing of #EndSARS protesters.

The 36 state governors made this known in a communique by Governor Kayode Fayemi, chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), issued at the end of a teleconference meeting held on Thursday.

The governors also stated that Nigerians who have been affected by police brutality or other actions should be compensated

They berated IGP Adamu for not consulting widely before dissolving SARS, adding that despite the excesses of the unit, SARS assisted in tackling insecurity, particularly in the north.

“Governors were unequivocal that all police officers who participated in the abuse or actions that might have led to injury or the death of innocent citizens must be fished out and brought to book while other Nigerians who have been adversely affected by police brutality or other actions that were injurious to them or their loved ones, should be compensated.

“Members also recommended that the IGP, the Police Service Commission and the Nigeria Police Council should immediately review the Remuneration and Emoluments of police officers and explore ways to fund this in order to incentivize and motivate police officers who have pledged themselves in service of the country,” the communique read.

Members also agreed that the concerns of the public went beyond a need for Police/FSARS reforms and included a demand for better governance; They noted the need to engage, consult the public and take decisions that address the underpinning issues leading to the protests; Members noted that some States had already started the process of engaging protesters and urged all States to engage all stakeholders for a collectively agreed resolution.”

SARS To SWAT

The NGF faulted the timing of the creation of the Special Weapons and Tactical (SWAT) team to replace SARS.

They noted that the timing is inauspicious “as the mood of the nation negates it and may understandably be misinterpreted as a surreptitious move to dress FSARS in another garb”.

The governors advised that throughout the reform process, the room for consultation should include sessions and direct feedback from the public.

Governors agreed that there was need for greater consultation with the public before any decision is taken; Governors advised the IGP to immediately convene a meeting of all stakeholders and agree on a format of engagement with all State officials in order to address concerns; and that State leadership should meet simultaneously nationwide, to address matters arising,” the communique read.

“Governors emphasized that reforms must include the training and retraining of operatives on the rules of engagement with the general public; Policing in Nigeria must ensure freedom for all Nigerians to carry out their lawful and legitimate businesses anywhere in the country without fear of harassment, intimidation or molestation.”