An appeal for nationwide calm was the nexus of the presidential message delivered by Mr. Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to President Mohammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, on Wednesday 21st, October, 2020.
The speech titled, ‘President Buhari Welcomes Establishment of Judicial Panels of Inquiry by 13 States to Deliver Justice for Victims of Police Brutality’ is a response to the #ENDSARS protest which has been far from peaceful in recent times.
In his appeal, Mr. Femi Adesina reeled out the steps taken so far by the Buhari led administration to address the demands of raging protesters.
He claimed that at the last count, no fewer than 13 states (Lagos, Kaduna, Delta, Ekiti, Ogun, Anambra, Enugu, Imo, Plateau, Edo, Nasarawa, Ondo and Akwa Ibom) have established judicial panels of inquiry as resolved by the National Economic Council to address the question of redress and justice for victims of police brutality across the country.
The statement read in part, ‘President Muhammadu Buhari welcomes the promptness of these necessary subnational actions, and reaffirms his commitment to supporting the state governments to ensure that justice is achieved for all victims of police brutality in Nigeria.
‘Under the Chairmanship of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the National Economic Council, at its meeting on Thursday October 15, 2020, resolved to establish state-level Judicial Panels of Inquiry to investigate allegations of police brutality and ensure that all erring personnel are brought to justice.’
The Special Adviser continued by assuring Nigerians that ‘President Buhari’s commitment to extensive Police reforms should never be in doubt.
‘The President in September 2020 signed the new Nigeria Police Act, the first comprehensive revision of the Police Act in decades.’
Adesina added that as Buhari declared, the immediate dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad was the first step in a set of reform policies that will deliver a police system accountable to Nigerians.
He averred that the President had also approved full implementation of the report of the 2018-2019 Presidential Panel on Police Reform.
‘Indeed, the National Human Rights Commission and the Police Service Commission have now commenced the implementation of the report,’ he stated.
Following the Lekki shooting, the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has also appealed to Lagosians to ‘please give peace a chance’, while emphasizing that ‘understanding at this critical point is key to actualizing our demands.’