BY HENRY TYOHEMBA, Abuja
A Youth Coalition under the Nigerian Youth People’s Assembly, has called on the federal government to immediately commence payment of compensations of cash, employment and scholarships to families of all those who lost their lives during the #EndSARS protests.
The group also called for the extension of such to families of the young people who lost their lives in the cause of the struggle and families of verified individuals who were extra judicially killed by the police already captured in previous panel reports; including families of police officers who died in the line of duty but were regrettably abandoned by the government.
Convener of the group, Amb Sunday Chibuzo Okereke who made the call in Abuja on Friday, while speaking at an event tagged, “#The Path To Peace #Reform Nigeria: Special Legislative Plenary On 2021 Budget,” also urged the youth to embrace peace for the sake of their future.
According to him, no matter how much some political leaders may have laboured to rob the Nigerian youth of a prosperous future, youths must not give in to the temptation of destroying the very things that will propel them into the future, but must continue to constructively engage the system and defeat the enemies of our nationhood with our togetherness, superior argument and unity of purpose.
He said, “We call on President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Government to immediately commence payment of compensations of cash, employment and scholarships to families of all those who lost their lives during the protests; families of verified individuals who were extra judicially killed by the police already captured in previous panel reports; including families of police officers who died in the line of duty but were regrettably abandoned by the government.
“We salute the courage of some State Governments and Governors who has already started awarding scholarships to children of some slain officers. The same opportunity should immediately be extended to the families of the young people who lost their lives in the cause of this struggle.
“While we commend the Federal Government on its decision to set up Judicial Panel of Inquiry to address the issues of police brutality and compensation for victim in line with the #EndSARS and #ReformTheNgPolice 5For5 demands. We remain very concerned that the timeframe and the security of lives of victims who may be targeted by the culprits.”
While commending President Buhari and the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu on the disbandment of the Special Anti- Robbery Squad (SARS), they frown at the hurried decision of the Inspector General of Police, Adamu to form the Special Weapons and Tactical Squad (SWAT) without due and wide consultations as pledged to the Nigerian people.
Speaking further, Okereke demanded the commencement for immediate up scaling of the personnel of the Nigerian Police with the recruitment of at least one million fresh police officers within the next six months. “We strongly believe this will position the Nigerian Police better to deal with issues of internal security and general policing.
“We insist that recruitment process into the Nigerian Police should immediately be reformed to include detailed background checks of applicants for at least three to six months before final admittance into the police, conduct of psychological tests for mental health including regular multipurpose personality index tests for servicing officers and new recruits. Recruitment should also include minimum educational qualification of National Diploma.
“We therefore, call on the National Assembly to amend relevant laws to give legal framework to these important reform demands,” he said.
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