By Tayo Faloye.
Whether you agree or not, the ongoing #EndSARS protest is a call for Policing Reforms, which is what some of us have always clamoured for, not outright scrapping of the unit.
A Reform is a change, amendment, improvement, abolition, alteration, repair (or, whatever synonym you choose to deploy) of a wrong way or conduct to a better state/ mode.
World over, police have a dedicated unit to tackle violent crimes. No sane govt leaves her citizenry at the freewill of felonious fellas, regardless of a few bad eggs among the police ‘rank and file’ that may want to soil the bunch. This, to me, can’t be farther the reason for the swift response of the IGP in creating a new unit, SWAT, after the disbandment of the old SARS to avoid any security vacuum.
It’s amusing seeing people call for better renumeration for the police while some haul invectives at President Buhari. Anybody abreast on news should know PMB had already approved a new salary structure adjustment for the police since 2018, which is already implemented and effective. (See comment section for new police renumeration package.) Hence, trying to drag the President into the SARS brigandry is only an exhibition of blatant ignorance, selective amnesia or outright mischief from such individuals.
The SARS imbroglio, which predates this govt, only outlays a systemic problem that bedevils the country. It’s one of the plethora of problems the current govt seeks to correct with it’s drive to tackle entrenched greed, impunity & corruption in the system. Most Nigerians can’t be excused from the deep seated penchant for abuse of power and privileges. Many are a disaster in the waiting, if given an opportunity to serve in any capacity. It is in us.
As I hail the bravery of these youths risking it all to correct the oppressive tendencies of some of these unscrupulous uniform men, I think their angst should be well situated and coordinated. I’m yet to see any well thought out bulleted demands to the government.
I’m also impressed with their resolve to ensure the SARS menace is not only killed but permanently buried, by their refusal to back down on the protest after the President waded in and the reassurances given by the IGP on the matter due to trust issues. We have seen many such moves to sanitize the police fallen flat like a pack of cards in the past. I term the defiance to call off the protest a “Follow-Up & Follow Through” stance to stem further window dressing by the police hierarchy.
I salute the youths!
And, hope this agitation is extended to other critical arms, tiers of government as well as service providers ripping off the populace (NASS, DISCOs, Telcos, etc on my mind).
EVERYTHING IS NOT BUHARI!
– Tayo Faloye