A worried President Muhammadu Buhari has scrambled a meeting the Inspector General of Police, Muhammed Adamu, after #EndSARS protests continue to heat the polity and lead to violence in parts of the country and the Federal Capital City.
There was a report of a policeman killed in Delta State, where youths took to the streets to protest to protest the unprofessional conduct and extortion by men of the special squad of the Police. The Police has since banned the activities of the squad, but anger appears to be spiralling out of control.
Monday night, the President’s office released a statement quoting the President as saying he met again with Adamu over the conduct of policemen.
His words: “I met again with the Inspector General of Police tonight. Our determination to reform the police should never be in doubt. I am being briefed regularly on the reform efforts ongoing to end police brutality and unethical conduct, and ensure that the Police are fully accountable to the people.
“The IG already has my firm instructions to conclusively address the concerns of Nigerians regarding these excesses, and ensure erring personnel are brought to justice. I appeal for patience and calm, even as Nigerians freely exercise their right to peacefully make their views known.
“The vast majority of men and women of the Nigeria Police Force are patriotic and committed to protecting the lives and livelihoods of Nigerians, and we will continue to support them to do their job”.
Meanwhile, The Punch reports that many commuters were stranded around the Alausa and Berger areas in Lagos State as protesters blocked the Alausa section of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
The PUNCH gathered that the protesters moved from the entrance of the Lagos House of Assembly to block the highway on Friday.
The placards-carrying protesters barricaded the highway from the Secretariat bus-stop, opposite Magodo Phase II.
The effect of the gridlock had begun to extend to the Otedola Bridge along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
The PUNCH had reported that thousands of Nigerians are protesting against police brutality in the country.
Apart from Lagos, protests are taking place across the country, including in the capital Abuja and Osun State.
The movement initially targeted the federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, widely accused of unlawful arrests, torture, and murder, but has since broadened to include all police forces.
While the SARS unit was suspended on Sunday, groups such as Amnesty International said the government had not gone far enough, pointing to previous unsuccessful attempts to ban the force.
Several Nigerian celebrities have joined the protest.
There was violence in Osun and Abuja on Friday as youths protest against police brutality and extortion.
The PUNCH gathered that in a bid to disperse the protesters, policemen shot indiscriminately.
In Osogbo, the protest caused gridlock at the Ola-Iya junction.
It was learnt that the protesters pelted stones at the security operatives in a bid to resist any attempt to stop the protest.
The security operatives, who initially took cover beside their Armoured Personnel Carriers stationed at the junction, later shot indiscriminately to disperse the angry youths.
In Abuja, security operatives teargassed and shot indiscriminately to disperse the protesters.
In a video that surfaced online, the protesters were seen running helter-skelter.
Some of them were heard shouting “they are shooting at us”, “don’t kill us with teargas”, “you must #EndSARS”.
One of the protesters in Abuja, @BrianJDenis, tweeted, “Police officers have opened fire at us with live bullets at Central Area, Abuja. Some people are injured.”
Earlier, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, condemned the violent attack on policemen and damage to police operational vehicles and other assets by #EndSARS protesters in Ughelli, Delta State, on Thursday.
He also ordered a probe into the incident which resulted in the death of Corporal Etaga Stanley attached to ‘A’ Division, Ughelli.
Additional reports by The Punch