The ADC’s candidate in the just-concluded Edo governorship elections, Mabel Oboh, has said men of the Nigeria Police Force needed proper training, given the #ENDSARS protests currently rocking the federation.
She added her voice to the growing chorus of support for the peaceful protests calling for a total restructuring of the Police to put a stop to police brutality, noting that the time was right for a change.
She said: “For over a week, economic activities in some states of the federation have been grounded to a halt, no thanks to police extra-judicial-killings by SARS.
“It is sad that the lives of so many youths have been prematurely snuffed out by these gun-toting trigger-happy policemen.
“My prayers go out to those selfless youths and musicians on the streets, championing these peaceful demonstrations. It is high time those in authority realised that the lives of our youths matter.”
Oboh, a Nollywood veteran, added: “I commend the entertainers in the forefront seeking for justice for those that lost their lives.
“It was the brutal killing of a Nigerian musician, Sleek, that set the stage for this struggle and as things stand now, young entertainers did not look up to their respective unions to take action.
“This in itself proves that these organisations have no relationship with members, hence are at risk of going into oblivion and irrelevance.”
Calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to go beyond lip service and speedily resolve the crisis and provide specialised training, a total overhaul and a special pay package for the police force, she slammed the police IG for quickly coming up with an alternative body called SWAT.
“What is the difference between SWAT and SARS? What consultation took place before the IG suddenly came up with SWAT?
“The IG is not sincere with his declaration that SARS has been disbanded. At best, he is extremely insensitive to the events happening in the country.
“He announced that SARS had been disbanded from one side of his mouth only to replace it with SWAT from the other side. What does that mean? Is it not the same men that constituted SARS that are still be in SWAT?
“This is an attempt to hoodwink and mislead the Nigerian masses. Somebody should please tell him that a change of name is not the way forward, but a total transformation, retraining and reorientation of men of the Nigerian Police Force.
“The perpetrators should be brought to book and the families of the lost ones should be compensated,” Mabel Oboh added.
She called on the President to meet the demands of the conveners of the protest by first releasing unconditionally all those that were arrested by the police.
“When these demands have been met then anything can follow. At the moment, our youths are angry and the disbandment of SARS should go beyond promises.
“The first step to take is the President ordering the release of all those arrested and organising intensive training for men and women of the Nigerian Police Force and, above all, all officers implicated in the bloodshed of innocent Nigerians should be brought to justice.
“Moreover, the protesters and other well-meaning Nigerians want a complete overhaul of our system. Citizens of Nigeria are fed up and are seeking for change that must come if Nigeria is ever to be saved.
“The voice of the people is the voice of God and Nigerians youths and Nigerians at large have spoken unequivocally that SARS must be disbanded and it must not been replaced by SWAT.
“They have also given other conditions on the management of governance,” Mabel Oboh noted.