Monday, 29th November 2021
<To guardian.ng
Search
Breaking News:

Edo, Rivers residents demand action on #EndSARS reports

By Chido Okafor (Warri), Ann Godwin, Obinna Nwaoku (Port Harcourt), Michael Egbejule (Benin City) and Agosi Todo (Calabar)
21 October 2021   |   4:03 am
To mark the first year of the nationwide #EndSARS protests, Edo and Rivers residents, yesterday, took to the streets to demand action on the recommendations turned in by the various judicial panels of inquiry.

Low-key activities in Delta, C’River witnesses no protest
To mark the first year of the nationwide #EndSARS protests, Edo and Rivers residents, yesterday, took to the streets to demand action on the recommendations turned in by the various judicial panels of inquiry.

In Benin City, the youths registered their displeasure for government’s inaction.

In a peaceful march tagged ‘EndSARS memorial,’ amid presence of security agents to forestall breakdown of law and order, the residents, who traversed the major streets of the ancient city, regretted that 12 months after the key recommendations were made by the probe panels, nothing had been done.

Dressed in black attires, the youths, in their numbers, displayed placards with various inscriptions including, “One year after the protests, many of those that participated are still in detention,” “Nigerian police officers deserve better conditions of service” and “Victims of EndSARS are still suffering from incapacitation.”

A victim, Ohimai Stephen, who got amputated after being hit by a stray bullet in Auchi last year, appealed to the government to act fast.

The Auchi Polytechnic graduate confirmed that he filed a petition at the panel of inquiry through his lawyer.

Kelly Osunbor, who was a member of the state judicial panel of inquiry, alleged: “They cajoled us, and we spent six months at the panel, but till date, we have not heard anything about the recommendations.

“We appealed to our governor that some protesters, who lost their legs and hands, should be given automatic employment, but nothing has changed till now,” he added.

Solomon Orukpe, one of the marchers, charged governments on sincerity for the betterment of the society and citizens.

IN Port Harcourt, hundreds of youths staged a candlelight procession, brandishing placards reading messages like “No protester will die in vain under our watch” to demand action on findings of the panel set up by the Rivers government.

The organiser and Chairman of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Rivers, Enefa Georgewill, insisted that the offenders were yet to be prosecuted.

IN contrast, it was low-key in parts of Delta State, especially Ughelli, Warri, Jedo, Patani.

Apart from a mild protest in Ughelli where about nine young men carried a large banner with the inscription, “ENDSARS anniversary: Police are still killing us,” brandished along the busy Warri-Port Harcourt highway, the anniversary, contrary to expectations, was almost non-existent.

The development is believed to be influenced by the decision of the state government to pay the victims their N102,450,000 compensation.

The information was communicated a day before the anniversary in a statement issued in Asaba by Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Chief Patrick Ukah.

Skeletal police presence was also observed in the major towns. Operatives, numbering about 15, as early as 7:00a.m. occupied the DSC Roundabout, Warri, which was one of the epicentres of the protests in 2020.

The Effurun Roundabout, which was the main convergence point within the oil city last year, was surprisingly devoid of activities.

HOWEVER, there was no protest in Calabar, Cross River State, as people went about their normal businesses.

The absence of the protesters on the streets may not be unconnected to the heavy security presence in the state.

All the streets leading to the Governor’s Office in the capital were cordoned off by security agents.

In this article