#EndSARS: Presidency Calls Nigerians to Calm Down
Femi Adesina, Bukhari’s Special Adviser for Media and Advertising, pleaded with Nigerians for peace.
This happened yesterday after soldiers attacked and killed #EndSARS protesters in Lekki.
In a statement from Adesina, the presidential council noted that at least 13 states across the country have initiated a process to meet protesters’ demands through the creation of judicial commissions to investigate police brutality.
He also recalled some of the steps and policies initiated and approved by President Bukhari so far, including the bill to establish a Police Trust Fund in 2019 and to increase police salaries and staff budgets in 2018.
“The presidency calls for understanding and calm across the country as reform implementation accelerates at the federal and state levels.
“The Presidency would like to reaffirm the full commitment of the Bukhari administration to implement long-term police reforms in Nigeria.
“At the latest count, at least 13 states have begun to set up judicial commissions of inquiry, as mandated by the National Economic Council, to address compensation and justice for victims of police brutality across the country.
“To date, the groups have established the following states: Lagos, Kaduna, Delta, Ekiti, Ogun, Anambra, Enugu, Imo, Plato, Edo, Nasarawa, Ondo and Aqua Ibom.
“Chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the National Economic Council (NEC), at its meeting on Thursday, October 15, 2020, decided to set up state forensic teams to investigate allegations of police brutality and ensure that they are brought to justice.
The President previously signed legislation establishing a Police Trust Fund in June 2019 to mobilize additional funds for the welfare and equipment of the Nigerian police force. The accumulation of funds in the Fund, as indicated in its authorizing law, has begun.
“President Bukhari approved a 2018 salary increase for police officers, and the police budget increased from 288 billion naira in the 2018 budget to 417 billion naira in the proposed 2021 budget; an increase of 45 percent.
“Just on Tuesday, with the commissioning of the Nigerian Police Pension Fund Limited building, the President also reaffirmed his continued support for both current and retired police officers.
“The President also approved the launch and funding of a new Community Police Initiative as part of a broader police reform program in Nigeria aimed at changing the rules for interaction between the Force and citizens.
“President Bukhari’s commitment to extensive police reforms should never be in doubt. In September 2020, the president signed Nigeria’s new police law, the first complete police law overhaul in decades.
President Bukhari said the immediate dissolution of the Special Robbery Squad (SARS) is the first step in a series of reforms that will ensure that the police system is accountable to the Nigerian people. The President also approved the full implementation of the President’s Group’s report on police reform 2018-2019.
“Indeed, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the Police Service Commission (PSC) have begun implementing the report,” the statement said.