The Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, has assured youths protesting police brutality and extra-judicial killing of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit of Nigerian Police Force, of government protection, saying no protester would be arrested while exercising their rights across the state.
He explained that plans had been concluded by his administration to protect the youths seeking end to police brutality through peaceful demonstration, and that security operatives across the state would provide needed support in ensuring the protesters’ voice are heard.
The Governor noted that part of his commitment to protecting protesters was his directive on safe release of all 30 youths earlier arrested across the state for protesting against police brutality, extortion among others.
Speaking while addressing protesters in Abeokuta on Wednesday, Abiodun said that leaders’ negligence over years led to ongoing widespread protest across the country through which the youths were expressing strong dissatisfaction on how they have been taken for granted.
He expressed optimism that total reformation of the police would commence in earnest as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari following his approval for disbandment of SARS officers.
“Thankfully, our persistent demands don’t end with the disbandment of the SARS. It is just the beginning. The people have said they want a total reform which thankfully too, the President has shown genuine commitment to.
“Police brutality is a systemic failure that must be taken seriously, so other State Governors and I are already working out how to address the menace in each of our states to complement what is being done at the centre.
“Even as we wait keenly but patiently for the reforms to be actualised, let’s rest assured that Ogun State will always listen to her people. As we have not pressed charges against over 30 arrested but now free protesters, we never will,” the statement said.