Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the Federal Government is concerned about the feelings of Nigerians as the #ENDSARS protests continues.
The #ENDSARS protests, which started on Oct. 8, have continued even after the Inspector-General of Police (I-G) announced the dissolution of SARS on Oct. 11.
Osinbajo, in a series on tweets, said that the government must take full responsibility of protecting the people.
“Dear Nigerians, I know that many of you are angry, and understandably so; we could have moved faster and for this we are sorry.
“I fully understand how many young people feel. Many feel that we have been too silent and have simply not done enough; these feelings of frustration are justified.
“There are far too many people who have been brutalised at the hands of the police and this is unacceptable; we must take responsibility for protecting young people, even sometimes from those who are paid to protect them.
“Over the past week, we have been following the protests, and I have had a number of discussions with key people in the administration that you deserve to be informed about; transparency, after all, is a key tenet of government.’’
The Vice President said that several meetings had been held with the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, Speaker of the House Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Chairman of the Police Service Commission.
More so, he said the I-G, the Executive Secretary of National Human Rights Commission Nigeria, and governors were part of the meetings.
“We understand that you want to see action from us and I am here to tell you that work is ongoing; I chaired a meeting of 36 state governors and the FCT Minister, National Economic Council(NEC), where we resolved to set up judicial panels of inquiry so we can see justice served, and fast.
“The reason being that only state governors, by law, can set up judicial inquiries in their states. The hearings will be public.
“With the President’s approval, SARS has been completely disestablished, and none of its former members will feature in any police tactical units.
“I am sending my deepest condolences to the families of Jimoh Isiaq, and all those who have lost their lives at the hands of wayward police officers; to those injured, I wish a full and speedy recovery.
“We have proposed that each state government sets up a Victims’ Support Fund, which the Nigerian Government will support. This is the least that we can do to compensate for the injustice suffered at the hands of errant officers.’’
According to him, the government understands that the issues that being raised are bigger than just SARS.
“They are deep and systemic and we are undertaking comprehensive measures that will revamp the police by addressing issues of welfare, service conditions and training.’’
He said that the President had reiterated his commitment to these extensive police reforms.
“We will continue to update and engage with you all on these action steps and the ones to come, in the spirit of transparency, so that you can hold us accountable.
“We are, after all, here to serve you and we owe you a duty to win back your trust.
“Keep safe. God bless you,’’ he said.