Sunday Dare, minister of youth and sports development, has asked Mohammed Adamu, inspector-general of police, to order the immediate release of #EndSARS protesters who were arrested in different locations across the country.
Although the special anti-robbery squad (SARS) has been scrapped, Nigerians have continued their protests against police brutality, calling for a total reform of the force.
In a letter addressed to the IGP, Dare described the disbanding of the SARS unit as the right step following the nationwide outcry of “high-handedness, human rights violation and harassment of the youth and other Nigerians” by some of the officers of the unit.
He said the arrested protesters should not be punished for exercising their civic rights.
He said while some of the protesters have been arrested, others are still suffering harassment and threats to life for their involvement in the campaign against the police force.
He also asked the police chief to accelerate the reforms promised by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“It is our collective hope that the successor tactical unit to FSARS will be a Special Force that will be more disciplined, ethical and professional with a new code of conduct that will guide their civil engagement. I also thank President Muhammadu Buhari for the positive steps he has taken on this matter,” he said.
“In the light of the above, I want to plead with the Inspector General of Police to go a step further by using your very good office to order immediate release of all youth who were arrested or apprehended for participating in peaceful protests. They should not be punished for exercising their democratic right.
“Reports reaching me personally and out there in the media reveal that a number of our youth are under arrests, while some continue to suffer harassments and threats to life for participating in the #EndSARS protest.
“In the new spirit of change, rapprochement and expected reforms that are sweeping through the entire Police Force, kindly use your good office to authorize a signal to be sent to all police formations and stations to free these youth and to stop the intimidation of those who participated in the protests in any form.”
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