TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
Immediate past Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside, said the ongoing #EndSARS protest across Nigeria has provided an opportunity for the government to embark on a comprehensive reform of the Nigeria Police and not just the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
Peterside stated this at the weekend, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on the sidelines of this year’s edition of Arise Walk-For-Life, an initiative of Pastor Siji Iluyomade of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG).
He stressed that it would be difficult for the police to reform itself without the direct involvement of the government and critical stakeholders.
According to him, “The protest is not just about SARS, it is about young people in Nigeria. They want reforms in education, in healthcare, in all the things that affect them. The issue is that can the police reform itself, the answer is no; the government needs to engage, take another view about this whole protest; the government cannot ask the police to go and reform itself.
“Government needs to get major stakeholders onboard and say how do we reform SARS and what is actually the problem with police, not just SARS.
“There is a need to take a diagnostic review of what is the problem, after that, they should be able to come out with things they need to deal with”, he stated.
Reflecting on the essence of Arise Walk-For-Life, he said: “Arise Walk-For-Life is a programme initiated 10 years ago by Pastor Siju Iluyomade, the co-pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, City of David, Lagos. But, this year, the programme decided to go international because of COVID-19. So, it is taking place in all the major cities in Nigeria and major cities in Europe.
“The question is: what is Arise Walk-For-Life all about? Now, the concept is to encourage people to take to walking, to encourage people to partake in regular walking because of the benefits of walking. It has been proven that walking makes the bones strong, the muscles strong. Walking is good for the heart, walking is good for the mood.
“As we are walking, we also encourage people to walk with Christ because if you walk with Christ, you will never walk in darkness. If you walk in Christ, you will live right with God”, he said.
Also speaking, one of the organisers and former member of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Victoria Nyeche, said apart from winning souls for Christ, the walk was also to create awareness that people need to be healthy in relation to this year’s theme of “Staying Alive”.