President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday night sent a directive to the police authorities to sanction officers found stepping out of bounds. Buhari spoke as violence erupted in Abuja and Osogbo on the second day of the #EndSARS protests after armed policemen teargased protesters. The protests spread to more parts of the country and with more intensity especially on the social media.
Apart from #EndSARS there were also “#EndSarsNow #EndSarsProtests #EndSARSProtest #EndSARSImmediately” attracting over ten million tweets.
Meanwhile, Nigerians in diaspora especially in US, United Kingdom, Canada, UAE have also showed solidarity to join the campaign against police brutality by protesting at various embassies. The protesters insisted that the Special Anti-Robbery Squad must be “completely disbanded”.
No fewer than 14 men were arrested in Ughelli, Delta State over Thursday’s bloody protest in the city.
The police described the arrested persons as hoodlums who masterminded the Thursday attack on security men during which a policeman was killed.
Police Inspector General Mohammed Adamu and Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege yesterday condemned the attack on the police in Delta State.
But the police ruled out scrapping SARS.
President Buhari received briefing from Police Inspector General Mohammed Adamu for the second time in as many days on the #ENDSARS protests.
The president with whom was Vice President Yemi Osinbajo directed the IG to “conclusively address the concerns of Nigerians regarding these excesses, and ensure erring personnel are brought to justice.”
He appealed for “patience and calm, even as Nigerians freely exercise their right to peacefully make their views known.
Buhari who wrote on Twitter said: ”The vast majority of men and women of the Nigeria Police Force are patriotic and committed to protecting the lives and livelihoods of Nigerians, and we will continue to support them to do their job.
“I met again with the IGP tonight. Our determination to reform the police should never be in doubt.
“I am being briefed regularly on the reform efforts ongoing to end police brutality and unethical conduct, and ensure that the Police are fully accountable to the people.”
Presidential aide Bashar Ahmed first dropped hint of the briefing when he said on Twitter earlier in the day that the IG brief Buhari on Thursday.
He said: “Good people of Nigeria have every right to protest the #PoliceBrutality or anything they see is not going on well.The President was briefed yesterday (Thursday) by the IG of Police. I am very sure action will be taken and in the best interest of Nigeria.”
Policemen in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) fired shots in the air and canisters of teargas at protesters of the #ENDSARS campaign.
The ensuing pandemonium sparked a massive traffic jam in several parts of the city.
A similar confrontation between the police and protesters played out in Osogbo, the Osun State capital.
The protesters who had converged on Shasha market, Oke-Baale around 9 am marched through Testing ground to Stadium, Ayetoro, Old-Garage, Ola-Iya, Africa and ended up at the Osun State House of Assembly where they were addressed by the Chief Whip, Hon. Babatunde Olatunji who called for calm.
He promised that government was looking into their grievances.
From there, they moved to the headquarters of the State Police Command.
Some of them inscribed “#EndSARS” on the perimeter fence of the complex.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Yemisi Opalola appealed to them to be peaceful, saying the Commissioner of police had complied with the Inspector General of Police, Muhammad Adamu’s directives to suspend SARS operations on the streets.
The protesters returned to the Ola-Iya, junction only to start pelting policemen at the scene with stones and sticks.
The policemen took cover beside their Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) parked at the junction.
When it appeared that the protesters would not relent in attacking them, the policemen fired into the air to disperse the youths.