Says protest offers opportunity for govt-citizen partnership
By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
As #EndSARS protests continue to sweep across the country, the Alumni Association of National Institute, AANI, yesterday, expressed concern over the issue and offered to facilitate dialogue between government and citizens.
This was contained in a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary, AANI, Dr Ogbonna Onyeisi, mni, where the association described the protesting youths as united people speaking to their government and galvanizing the nation for an urgent reform in all areas of national development.
The statement reads in part, “The Alumni Association of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, (AANI), under the leadership of IGP MD Abubakar (rtd), mni, views with deep concern the ongoing “END SARS” protests by the ‘youths’ against police brutality in the country.
“AANI wishes to underscore that the ensuing impasse after 12 days of peaceful protests, offers a unique opportunity for a new social compact and partnership between the government and the citizens for development and democracy.
“AANI acknowledges that protesting youths symbolizes a united people that are speaking to their Government and are galvanizing the nation for an urgent reform of the Nigeria Police among others.
“AANI also notes the various requests made by the youths viz :the 5-point demand, namely halting the use of force against protesters and unconditional release of arrested citizens, justice for the victims of police brutality, including payment of compensation, and the psychological evaluation of policemen, as well as increasing their salaries.
“In this regard, AANI (whose motto: is “Towards A Better Society”) opines that it’s time for the restoration of the necessary trust between the citizens and the government and hereby calls on both the protesters and the Government to urgently enter into a robust dialogue for the implementation of the agreed 5- point demand.
“The Alumni Association would be willing to facilitate this historic dialogue that would hopefully reform the police security architecture and promote good governance in our dear country.”
The statement also commended the Federal and State governments for responding to the demands of protesters, which indicates that the government listens to its citizens.
“Conversely AANI commends the Federal and State governments who have responded to the demands of the protesting youths. This further demonstrates a listening government.
“It is significant that the Presidential Panel on Police Reforms has agreed to the 5-point demand of protesters, while President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR and the leadership of the National Assembly have also assured protesting youths of speedy implementation of policies to halt Police brutality”, it added.