Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has said the government is really sorry and will do its best to ensure police men found culpable of dehumanizing Nigerians are brought to justice.
Prof Osinbajo stated this in a statement he released on Friday.
His plea is coming amidst daily protests from Nigerians across different cities, with a call on the government to #ENDSARS and other forms of Police brutality, and by extension, reform the police Force generally.
The vice president said the government is aware of expectations from the citizens and how disappointed and angry they are, especially looking at the slow pace of the country’s development, saying the government is ‘sorry.’
Regretting further, Osinbajo said there are far too many cases of the Nigerian police harassing and brutalizing young Nigerians, saying he has personally been engaging different stakeholders in the country in order to try and bring a lasting solution.
“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.
“Several meetings have been held with: the Senate President Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, Speaker of the House Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Chairman of the Police Service Commission, the IG of the Nigerian Police (IGP), the Executive Secretary of National Human Rights Commision Nigeria, and governors.”
According to the vice president, the government is aware of the desire of the Nigerians to see a firm action, as such the 36 State governors have been mandated to set up judicial panels of enquiries, so that justice can be served fast.
He reiterated government’s readiness to look into all the demands been proposed by the protesters, and not just dissolving SARS.
“We also understand that the issues that you’re raising are bigger than just SARS. They’re deep and systemic and we’re undertaking comprehensive measures that will revamp the police by addressing issues of welfare, service conditions and training.”
While assuring Nigerians of continuous engagements in this regard, the vice president extended his condolences to the families of the victims of police brutality, with a promise that government is going to set up a ‘Victims’ Support Fund’ to compensate for the injustice of the errant police officers.
“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,” he explained.