… protest at the Police Command Headquarters
By Ike Uchechukwu
Some 1,000 protesters, including celebrities, took to the main streets of Calabar, the capital of Cross River State, to protest against all forms of police brutality and unprofessional conduct by some units of the police force.
Although the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Adamu, revealed on Sunday that the unit (FSARS) has been disbanded, but many Nigerians still doubt that its dissolution was a sham and that the measure is not reliable.
They gathered that the protest that started around 10:00 a.m. saw many Calabar residents take to the street causing a traffic jam on popular and commercial highways, including Mary Slessor by Watt Market, Marian Road, IBB Way, Murtala Mohammed Highway and others.
They then took the protest to the governor’s office, the State Police Command Headquarters, where they were led by the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Operations, Samuel Musa.
DCP Musa said that now everything was under control following the directive of the IGP while pleading with the protesters to proceed peacefully and avoid breaking the public peace, as it would also be a violation of the rights of other citizens.
Protesters held banners and shouted: “Stop Police Brutality,” Increase Police Salaries to End Extortion “,” You messed with the wrong generation, “Reform the police immediately”, “We are human, not laboratory rats, “End SARS, SARS does not dissolve” among others
Popular celebrities from Calabar joined the protest; artists, comedians, actors and activists who also expressed their discontent at the unprofessional conduct of some police officers
However, President Muhammadu Buhari has addressed the nation stressing that his administration is committed to comprehensive police reforms.
“The dissolution of SARS is only the first step in our commitment to comprehensive police reforms to ensure that the primary duty of the police and other law enforcement agencies remains the protection of the lives and livelihoods of our people.” , He said.