284 views | Akanimo Sampson | October 14, 2020
EndSARS protesters demanding an end to police brutality, extrajudicial killings, and extortion by operatives of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police on Tuesday crippled activities in Lagos, the commercial capital of Nigeria.
And across the country, academic activities in public universities are yet to begin as the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is still pressing on with its nationwide strike.
Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, met with the ASUU leadership on Monday where he pleaded with them to return to the classroom.
Lawan’s plea is yet to break the ice. In a statement on Tuesday on its twitter handle, ASUU said it will meet first with its members in an internal meeting to determine whether to return to classes or not.
“We’ll now meet with our members for an internal meeting, but for the moment, the strike is still on. Our good fight remains sacrosanct”, ASUU statement says.
Apart from ASUU, Senator Lawan also appealed to the Federal Government to be ready to sheath sword in a bid to end the strike. He equally urged the government to be truthful to its words when agreements are signed, and be sure of its capacity to implement such deals.
The Senate president expressed confidence that ASUU is prepared halfway to meet the government to resolve the crisis.
In the meantime, the EndSARS protest in Lagos brought vehicular movements to a standstill as motorists and commuters were trapped in the gridlock around the secretariat, Ikeja, along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.
In Rivers State, the oil and gas capital of Nigeria, despite the ban on protest announced by Governor Nyesom Wike on Monday, agitation against police brutality and extortion rocked Port Harcourt, the state capital on Tuesday.
The protesters, who converged at Pleasure Park, marched to the Government House.
Governor Wike, who later addressed them said the agitation should not only end at SARS but the reform of the entire police.
The governor had on Monday declared in a statement that all proposed protests under #EndSARS campaign are prohibited because the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, had already scrapped SARS.
In Akwa Ibom State, residents in Uyo, the state capital, joined the rest of Nigerians on Tuesday for the EndSARS protests. They gathered at Ibom Roundabout, Uyo as early as 8 a.m. calling for an end to police brutality in the country.
“End police brutality! End police brutality! End police brutality”, the protesters chanted, as police officers tried to control the crowd and vehicular traffic, while they marched to the Government House to deliver a message to Governor Udom Emmanuel.
Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, had on Sunday announced the dissolution of the notorious SARS after days of agitation across the country.
The Federal Government on Tuesday accepted a five-point demand by the protesters on the reform of the Nigeria Police.
Despite this heartwarming development, the protest still continues in major Western, Southern, Eastern and Northern Nigeria cities.
Meanwhile, former President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday, sued for restraint as the protests against the police continued to spread across the country.
“I implore everyone to exercise restraint as we walk through these challenging times”, he says, stressing that no Nigerian life should be lost during peaceful protests.
He stated this in a post he made through his social media accounts. The message says: “No Nigerian blood needs to be spilt or life lost during a peaceful protest that seeks to advance our country.
“We may hold different views on national issues, but there is no doubt that most people desire the same thing for Nigeria: a place where we can all live out the full potential of our God-given abilities. I implore everyone to exercise restraint as we walk through these challenging times.”