NIGERIA’S ongoing protests against police brutality has taken a dramatic twist with protesters rejecting food and drinks sent to them by the chairman of the Lagos State chapter of the National Union of the Road Transport Workers (NURTW) Musiliu Akinsanya popularly known as MC Oluomo.
Over the last fortnight, there have been widespread demonstrations across Nigeria and in the diaspora to protest the recent brutal extra-judicial killings by the Special Anti Robbery Squad (Sars) forces. Last weekend, Sars operatives killed a young boy identified as Joshua Ambrose in cold blood in Delta State but unfortunately for them, videographer Prince Nicholas Makolomi, recorded the whole incident live.
His video fuelled anger across Nigeria, sparking off a series of nationwide protests, with celebrities joining in with an online campaign across social media. So fierce has been the public mood that the inspector-general of police Mohammed Adamu has been forced to announce the dissolution of the Sars unit.
Rocked by the scale of the protests, the federal government has now been forced to act and meet some of the demands of the protesters. Yesterday, the NEC, presided over by vice president Professor Yemi Osinbajo, held its monthly meeting in Abuja and ordered the immediate establishment of state-based judicial panels of inquiry across the country to receive and investigate complaints of police brutality or related extra judicial killings with a view to delivering justice for all victims of the dissolved Sars and other police units.
Earlier this week, it was reported that MC Oluomo sent a group of NURTW thugs to break up a rally and beat up protesters in Lagos. He has since denied being behind the action and to prove his solidarity with the demonstrators, sent them some food and soft drinks but this was rejected by the youths.
In another major twist, the former senator representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District, Shehu Sani, has lambasted the Northern Nigerian Governors Forum (NNGF) for opposing the dissolution of Sars. Yesterday, the NNGF met with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja pointing out that it rejected the total disbandment of the Sars, saying that they would rather see it reformed.
Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State, the NNGF chairman, said the defunct police unit had been useful in the fight against insecurity across northern Nigeria. He added that Sars was not made up of bad elements alone as it also included personnel doing their work diligently.
Senator Sani, however, lambasted them in a tweet saying: “Dear northern governors, if Sars is working in the north, why has kidnappings and killings by bandits and terrorists continued unabated? #EndsSARS.”