The NGF says "governors have endorsed the demands by demonstrators for improved governance". The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), on Monday, said it would address the demands of Nigerian youth protesting police brutality and harassment across the country.
For the past two weeks, thousands of youth have been on the streets demanding an end to police brutality, disbandment of the dreaded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigerian police and comprehensive reforms.
The protests have disrupted activities, with cases of violence recorded in many cities. As of Monday, about 12 deaths have been recorded in the ongoing protests.
The federal government conceded to the protesters by first dissolving the notorious police unit and replacing it with a department known as Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team.
The protesters have, however, not yielded ground as they continue to occupy the streets and call for other institutional reforms.
In a statement on Monday signed by the chairman of the NGF, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, the NGF said “governors have endorsed the demands by demonstrators for improved governance”.
It said they also agreed to set up a Judicial Panel of Enquiry to receive all cases of police brutality by officers of the disbanded SARS Unit.
“Each State is also expected to kickstart a compensation mechanism for all victims,” the governors said.
Mr Fayemi also listed other resolutions reached by his colleagues.
“Governors thereafter resolved to: condemn the attack on Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun State by armed persons while he was addressing anti-police brutality protesters in the state capital Osogbo; protesters are encouraged to engage with the government appropriately at both the national institute level to ensure that the protests are not taken over by hoodlums who are instigating a breakdown in law and order in many parts of the country.
“Activate a Judicial Panel of Enquiry to receive all cases of police brutality by officers of the disbanded SARS Unit. Each State is also expected to kickstart a compensation mechanism for all victims.
“Endorse the call by demonstrators for improved governance predicated on an enforcement regime that takes into cognizance the fundamental human rights and liberties of all citizens in the country;
“Act on all the Demands made by the EndSARS protesters raising some concerns with the shifting nature of the demands which creates uncertainty on the exact expectations and ultimate goal;
“Finally, appeal for the call off of protests as a continuation grossly exposes the fragile economic fundamentals of the country; particularly as criminal elements and hoodlums have hijacked the protests by maiming innocent citizens, looting and destroying properties.”
By Kunle Sanni,