Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja Okwe Obi (Abuja), Paul Orude (Bauchi), John Adams (Minna), Olanrewaju Lawal (Birnin Kebbi), Sola Ojo (Kaduna), Lukman Olabiyi (Lagos)
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has told #EndSARS protesters that their feelings of frustration are justified.
He, therefore, apologised to them for the government’s silence and failure to do enough to stop police brutality in the country before now.
His apology came even as the protesters continued their agitation in several cities, including Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Enugu, and Ibadan.
Osinabjo, in a Twitter thread, via his verified handle @ProfOsinbajo, declared that it is unacceptable that many people had been brutalised in the hands of the police.
The vice president also sent his deepest condolences to the families of Jimoh Isiaq, and all those who had lost their lives at the hands of those he referred to as “wayward police officers.”
In the face the Vice President’s apology to protesters, a civil society organisation, Citizens Action for Good Governance (CAGG), has called for the total ban of all street protests in the guise of #EndSARS, claiming they were sponsored, fearing that the violent dimension of the activism would be a threat to national security.
CAGG National Coordinator, Comrade Nazir Galadanchi, in a statement yesterday, also called on President Muhammadu Buhari, to do the needful before the situation gets out of hand.
He said: “We demand total ban on all street protests immediately by the government because if this is not done, what the country will witness in the coming days will not be palatable based on the above facts we have stated.
Galadanchi further claimed that protesters were being sponsored by some political enemies, saying: “From our intelligence gathering, there are politicians who have taken advantage of the protest to sponsor violence across the country in order to create an atmosphere of chaos and uprising in order to overheat the polity and make the country ungovernable so they can score cheap political point that the government lacks the capacity to keep the country peaceful.”
Meanwhile, Bauchi State governor, Senator Bala Mohammed, has urged media practitioners to use their reportage in uniting Nigerians in the face of the series of protests against police brutality in the nation.
While noting that the police had their limitations, Mohammed said that the country still needs the police to maintain peace.
The governor stated this in his residence in Yelwan Duguri in Alkeleri Local Government Area of Bauchi State, shortly after casting his vote in the local government election held yesterday.
He observed that the country has been divided as a result of the various protests across the country, and therefore urged the media not heat up the polity with sensational reports.
In Minna, the Niger State capital, business and commercial activities were paralysed yesterday morning as youths in their hundreds took to the major streets to add their voice to the ongoing protests against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
The youths demanded an end to poor supply of electricity by the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), banditry and the deplorable condition of federal roads across the state.
The peaceful protest, organised by the Coalition of Northern Youth Groups, Niger State chapter, was later joined by some artistes in the state and later turned to a mini-carnival at a point.
Also, a coalition of youths under the aegis of Coalition of Northern Groups, Kebbi State chapter, has commended President Muhammadu Buhari and security agencies for taking steps to maintain peace, stability and progress of the nation.
Leader of the group, Malam Ibrahim Muhammad, stated this when he led the groups to present their letter to the Kebbi State governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu at Government House, yesterday on the issue of insecurity in northern parts of Nigeria and SARS.
The youths commended the Inspector General of Police and all other security agencies for coming up with SWAT as an alternative to SARS, but requested for entrenchment of professionalism.
Thousands of Kaduna youths yesterday protested against bad governance in the country. The protest impeded the flow of traffic all through the morning and much of the afternoon.
Some of the protesters said they decided to set aside other social engagements to join in the protest in solidarity with the victims and survivors of police brutality in the country.
Police and other security agents were sighted guiding the protesters to prevent a breakdown of law and order during the activity.
One of the protesters, Ashidi Mamman told Sunday Sun that “the government will do well by ensuring speedy recall of SARS officers who have questions to answer, investigate them and bring them to justice in the public glare to show that the victims and survivors of police extrajudicial killings get justice.”
Meanwhile, the Archbishop Emeritus of the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, has asked the Federal Government to put an end to all things making life difficult for Nigerians.
The call by the former president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), is sequel to the ongoing #EndSARS protest across the country.
Onaiyekan said: “My take is an end to all the things that are making life difficult for us. The government should know what to do. The country has not been going well. We should do something about it.
“End not only SARS. End everything that is making life difficult for all of us.”
In response to the EndSARS protests, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu will tomorrow inaugurate a seven-member Panel of Inquiry and Restitution for Victims of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) Related Abuses in the state.
The governor disclosed this yesterday when he visited the widow of the man, Okechukwu Iloamuazor, who was shot dead during #EndSARS protest in Surulere area.
Sanwo-Olu assured the widow, Ngozi, of justice, saying that he had come with the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo, to ensure that the family got justice.
Also in Lagos, protesters took over the Amuwo-Odofin and Ago Palace Way areas of Lagos State.
As early as 8:30 am, youths of the Festac Town axis had started gathering in preparation for the day’s protest. They walked through the town heading towards the Apple Junction Roundabout where they settled displaying their placards and chanting their song, ENDSARS.
The protest forced motorists to find alternative routes as the protesters condoned off the road to and from Apple Junction as the traffic stretched from all angles into and from Festac town, Ago Palace Way, Amuwo-Odofin and the Oshodi/Papa Expressway.
Motorists from the Festac area that manoeuvred their way and connected to the Ago Palace did not escape the gridlock as they could neither connect to the major express from the Cele link bridge as the Ago Roundabout was blocked on all sides by another group of protesters who courteously requested motorists to find alternative routes.
While many motorists expressed their support for the protesters, they, however, called on them to create ways to allow other users to go about their daily duties as everyone could not be on the protest ground.
In the wake of the protests against police brutality, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus in the House of Representatives has charged the police authorities to immediately commence the prosecution of security agents culpable in the killing of defenceless Nigerians over the years.
The caucus, in a statement, by its leader, Kingsley Chinda, yesterday also condemned the killing of some #EndSARS protesters by the police, stating that there must be immediate action against security agents found wanting.
The PDP lawmakers commiserated with the Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde, over the killing of Isiaq Jimoh, Ganiyu Moshood Alabi, and Adeoye Taiwo by security agents during the anti-SARS protest in the state.
In Edo State, #EndSARS protest, yesterday, took a new dimension in Benin City, as the protesters in their thousands, converted part of the Benin-Lagos road under the pedestrian bridge by Ugbowo Main campus of the University of Benin, into a kitchen, where they cooked and ate jollof rice.
The scene looked like a carnival. It was gathered that an unnamed donor who shared in the ideal of the protest donated the food.
They, however, blocked the stretch of the Benin-Lagos road from the old tollgate end to Uselu Market, a distance of about nine kilometers, forcing travelers to make a detour to other routes to find their way into and out of Benin City.
One of the protesters, Taiye Alao, said: “What we are asking for is not just end to SARS, we are saying Buhari must go, we are tired of his administration. The Buhari-led government should resign; we need to fix Nigeria. We are being oppressed in our own country, the politicians are oppressing us, we are in democracy and not democratic slavery, we can never be slaves in our own country.”
Meanwhile, the Edo State Commissioner of Police, Babatunde Kokumo, has ordered the Homicide Section of the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) to commence a fullscale investigation into the immediate and remote cause of Friday’s killing of a protester by gunmen.