In response to the agitation across the Nigerian nation, resulting in mass, peaceful protests demanding the dissolving of notorious Police unit, SARS— the Lagos State Government Friday begged for more time.
A statement signed by Gbenga Omotoso, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, the Lagos State Government said it had noted the protests against the reported highhandedness of the men of the Special Anti- Robbery Squad (SARS).
“ We know how painful it is to be victims of police brutality. It is not good. The message of the protests is clear – such acts of brutality must stop. We agree,” the statement reads.
According to the statement, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is discussing the issue with the Police authorities and has expressed hopes that the matter will be resolved in “the interest of our teeming youths and in the spirit of democracy.”
“The government, therefore, seeks the patience and understanding of all those concerned. Steps are being taken to correct the wrongs that have been identified. Let us remain peaceful as the authorities are addressing the issue. The Lagos State Government will do everything possible to ensure that human rights of all Lagosians are protected at all times,” it continues.
Lagos State’s government has asked that the protesters allow the Inspector-General of Police handle the issue, saying he has intervened and “issued directives that address the major causes of the infractions that have pitched the people, especially youths, against SARS.”
The statement continues:
“Our appeal is predicated on the need to prevent hoodlums from hijacking the protests and disrupting our businesses and social lives, which are just picking up following the lethal effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. That, in the interest of peace and security of the State and the nation at large, should not be allowed to happen as it will defeat the purpose of the protests. Two wrongs do not make a right.
“We commend the protesters for the peaceful way they have conducted themselves. The State Government will work with the relevant authorities to ensure that their grievances are dispassionately examined.”