Nigeria

#EndSARS memorial: APC chieftain charges Nigerian government to improve access to justice

The Central Bank of Nigeria was granted permission to freeze the accounts of 20 #EndSARS campaigners after linking the funds in their account to “suspected” terrorism activities.

The Federal Government has been charged to proffer lasting solutions to issues that resulted to the #EndSARS protest, improve access to justice and uphold the fundamental human rights of every citizen.

The Director-General, Conference of APC Support Groups and member of APC National Strategic Lobby committee, Hon. Obidike Chukwuebuka in an address to mark the one-year Anniversary/Memorial of the #EndSars Protest said there must be an end to the impunity, brutality, harassment, and criminal profiling of Nigerian youths by the Nigerian security agencies without due course.

The compensation of those brutalised by the police, he said will not just bring a lasting solution, but peace amongst Nigerian youths, adding that the government must establish a culture of respect for human rights within security authorities which is the only way to guarantee that changes to the law are effective.

His words: “Disregard for human rights is prevalent within the security agencies. Detainees are often denied their legal right to see a lawyer. Many have to pay for food or medical care or to avoid being tortured or otherwise ill-treated. In many cases, detainees wait for weeks or months in police custody to be charged and brought before a court.

“As a conscious and concerned Nigerian youth, I was disturbed when the protest started and quickly nose-dived to something else. There were ways we could have managed the situation before it got out of hand, but unfortunately, we didn’t act accordingly. I had the opportunity of interacting with many Youths during, and after the protest, and no doubt, certain grievances raised were very legitimate. Even after the protest, I have kept in touch with the youths, attended the Judicial Panel of Inquiry set-up to listen to the complaints of victims and even visited some victims a few times, and honestly, the stories are heartbreaking, and Nigerian youths have no other person to look-up to than their government for justice, and to put an end to these dastardly acts.

“Anytime, any day, I stand with Nigerian youths, because they are my primary constituency, and today, as we mark the one year memorial of this National Protest and quest for Justice and reforms in our system, I urge Nigerian Youths to remain calm and peaceful across the nation. Let’s not give in to the urge of Violence or quick anger that will instigate another destruction of lives and properties today. Violence has never been the answer and has never solved any problem.

“Am aware that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari and even the current Inspector General of Police Usman Alkali Baba, are working on most of our stated grievances and demands, the results may not be coming out at the fast pace we wish to see them, but I believe they are doing something, and so we must re-approach and engage the government in a peaceful dialogue that will institute a feedback mechanism of information, action plan and implementation, built on mutual trust and collaboration.

“If we are duly briefed and informed of what government is doing and we also tell them of areas to improve action on, we will have a mutual understanding that restores trust and confidence in the system. This should be the process we should follow and sustain.

“We mustn’t also not forget the legislative powers of the National Assembly, we need to engage them in reviewing and enacting most of these laws that will strengthen our institutions, guide against abuse and expedite justice.”

“Government is a system and like every other system, you engage it via processes, and even as we engage our government in a continuous change process for the betterment of every Nigerian, it is our wish and prayers that actions and events that led to the #EndSars protest come to a perpetual end in our country.”

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