By Nwafor Sunday
Rivers state residents, Tuesday defied the order of Governor Nyesome Wike, prohibiting them from embarking on #ENDSARS campaign in the state.
Many Nigerian youths were seen on the streets of Port-Harcourt, campaigning against police brutality and dehumanization of the masses.
Since Sunday, youths have been on the streets, protesting, demanding an end to police brutality, extortion, assault, intimidation and dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS.
Bowing to their pressure, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, disbanded the activities and operations of the Police unit, SARS.
However, not satisfied with the disbandment, Nigerians continued with the protest, urging the Federal government led by President Muhammadu Buhari to “Immediately release all arrested protesters, and grant justice for all deceased victims of police brutality and appropriate compensation for their families.
They equally listed: “Setting up an independent body to oversee the investigation and prosecution of all reports of Police misconduct (within 10days), In line with police act, psychological evaluation and retaining (to be confirmed by an independent body) of all disbanded SARS officers before they can be redeployed, and Increase Police salary so that they are adequately compensated for protecting lives and property of citizens.
Not satisfied with these demands, Wike averred: “The Rivers State Government hereby [wishes] to inform the general public that all forms of protests have been banned throughout the State.
“Therefore, all proposed protests under #EndSARS Campaign are hereby prohibited.
“Government took this decision because the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, had already scrapped the Special Anti-Robbery Squad. Therefore, there is no need for any form of protest against a Unit of the Police Force that no longer exists. “Parents and Guardians are therefore advised to ensure that their children or wards do not violate this order.
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“Law enforcement agencies are also directed to ensure that the ban is enforced and that violators are brought to book.”
Miffed by his comment, Rivers state residents stormed the streets, demanding an end to Police brutality, assault and other misdemeanors.
One of the protesters identified as Ébi Wali, said: “The hot blood that runs in Wike, runs in every port harcourt breed, We are very stubborn. We’d rather die in the fields than die sleeping. Intimidation is our enemy. #SarsMustGoNow”.