Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity) has demanded for the immediate trial of all 35 officers of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) indicated by the Special Presidential panel on SARS.
The NAS Capoon, Mr Abiola Owoaje in a press statement titled ‘That Nigeria Beyond Lights Out in Lekki’ on the violence that gripped the country in the wake of shooting of protesters at Lekki toll gate expressed sadness over the looting, destruction of government and private properties, assaults on police stations and policemen, prison-breaks and attacks on innocent Nigerians by thugs.
According to him the Federal Government has the responsibility to create an atmosphere for a sincere dialogue on the legitimate demands of the youths and show serious commitment to police reform.
“There has being too many failed promises and repeatedly dashed national hope. Hence, it is incumbent on the government to restore confidence and faith in its citizens. The Federal Government must show seriousness on its commitment to Police reform by immediately commencing the trial of the indicted 35 officers of the disbanded SARS in line with the recommendations of the 2019 Special Presidential Panel on SARS” he said.
On the shooting at the Lekki Toll gate, the group while commiserating with the families that lost loved ones and wishing those injured speedy recovery, condemned the shooting and challenged the Federal Government and the military high command to unravel the identity of whoever issued the order for the deployment of soldiers and those who participated in the shooting for them to be brought to book.
Owoaje who pointed out that President Muhammadu Buhari did not make reference to Lekki shooting in his national broadcast to empathise with victims over the tragedy said government still has the opportunity to demonstrate leadership in ensuring justice for the innocent victims.
He also called for a high level investigation into the breach of prison and correctional facilities adding that the ease which the violence spread across the country is highlights the ongoing demand for a full reform of the Nigeria Police into a more professional and highly trained service as well as addressing citizens’ concerns about systemic misgovernance.
“We appeal to all Nigerians to remain calm, peaceful and lawful. We must not allow the poison of tribal discord to be injected into the demands for greater accountability, not just in the police, but across the entire apparatus of government from the Federal to the Local Governments. Without a doubt, if an improved Nigeria Police Force, as well as better governance is achieved in this struggle, it will be for the good and benefit of all Nigerians without exception”Owoaje added.