Chimamanda Adiche rewrites Bukhari EndSARS speech
Chimamanda Adiche rewrites Bukhari EndSARS speech
Speech that President Bukhari could have delivered – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi
NOTE for TV channels: turn on subtitles so all Nigerians can hear and understand
Comrades from Nigeria,
This is a difficult time for our people, but together we will win.
On Tuesday 20 October 2020, in the Lekki area of Lagos, innocent Nigerians exercising their democratic right to protest were attacked by Nigerian army soldiers. Some have died. Many were injured. This terrible incident has no place in our country. The role of the Nigerian military is to protect the lives of Nigerian citizens.
I share the families of the victims and all the injured. I ordered an immediate investigation and a report within the next five days.
The ultimate responsibility lies with me as the commander in chief of the armed forces. Now is not the time for vague words or general promises. Now is the time to act, and I am determined to bring those responsible for this terrible act to justice.
Restitution is an important element of justice. I ordered that all hospital bills for the wounded be paid by the federal government. The families of the victims as well as the injured will receive compensation from the federal government. This compensation is just a small way to acknowledge the pain and suffering of innocent citizens. This is in no way intended to ignore or minimize what happened. We are already trying to identify those who deserve compensation. Our Twitter account @NGRPresident will post more information shortly.
These are abnormal times and therefore we cannot rely on the old ways of doing things. On October 12, I drew attention to the well-founded fears of Nigerians protesting the extremes of the Anti-Theft Special Squad (SARS). But more could have been done. I have ordered the immediate arrest of those SARS officers, past and present, who have been reliably accused of extrajudicial crimes. I am currently studying the recommendations of the chiefs of security on how best to retrain some officers previously affected by SARS. I stress SOME as there are those who are not worthy of any security role and will face trial. I assure you that their trials will be fair and open to the public.
Let’s be clear that the protests we’ve seen across the country over the past two weeks were not against police, but against police brutality. In a democracy there must be law and order, but we cannot offend innocent citizens in the name of law and order.
I am committed to radical police reform. The salaries, benefits and living conditions of the Nigerian police and other paramilitaries will be immediately improved. I have instructed the National Commission on Wages, Revenues and Wages to expedite the process and ensure that implementation starts by October 30, 2020.
Let me pay tribute to the Nigerian police officers who died tragically in the line of duty. I separate their families. The federal government will provide all assistance to the victims quickly and with dignity.
The reports of vandalism and robbery in places like Lagos, Enugu and Rivers are partly the result of bandits infiltrating legitimate protests to pursue their nefarious goals, and partly the actions of lawfully injured citizens who, unfortunately, decided to illegally express their anger. There will be no tolerance for any damage to the life and property of citizens.
Also, let me admit that there were security errors during the protests. Criminals should never have been allowed to infiltrate protests. Police mistakes were made during the protests.
Innocent people were arrested, and the thugs were given freedom of action. I ordered the immediate release of any Nigerian citizen arrested for legitimately participating in a protest, while reinforcing our zero-tolerance policy for those involved in vandalism.
For two weeks the protest actions took place legally, without violence and without material damage. To those Nigerians who suspect that the sudden change in tone and manner of protests is the result of unscrupulous thugs being paid to stop the protests and create chaos, I assure you that your suspicions will be fully investigated.
The choice of peaceful demonstrations is a fundamental right of the citizens of Nigeria. It is a right that all Nigerians can enjoy freedom.
I urge all citizens of Nigeria to remember that our country is a different but united nation. Any call for ethnic feelings must be resisted. Any attacks on people based on ethnicity must be rejected. North or south, west or east, we are Nigerians. As Nigerians, we must unite against the forces that threaten our democracy.
Some states have imposed law enforcement curfews, but the unsecured curfew poses a threat to the lives and livelihoods of Nigerians. I will work with state governors to ensure adequate security across all states in the federation.
I would like to thank those state governors, traditional, religious and youth leaders who not only called for calm, but also took steps to identify with their people’s legitimate grievances.
Next week I will contact you again and inform you about the current plans for the reconstruction of our country. I believe that justice is always achievable with political will. I mean the obvious truth that there can be no peace without justice. Today I promise you my commitment to justice and peace.
Thank you all. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Source: – Guardian ng
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