Tinubu reacts to #EndSARS protests, says police reforms has begun
National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Tinubu has said the protest against police brutality in Nigeria is within the constitutional right of Nigerians.
“Asiwaju Tinubu believes in the right of Nigerians to freedom of expression, assembly, and protest where and when necessary, he has always canvassed the need for people to explore peaceful channels to ventilate their views and demands,” Tinubu said in a statement by his media aide Tunde Rahman.
“He believes the #EndSARS protesters have made their demands, which the Federal Government is studying.”
Tinubu’s statement comes after being alleged of being one of the sponsors of the ongoing nationwide protest against brutality, extortion, harassment and extrajudicial killing by police personnel.
The Cattle’s Breeders Association known as Miyetti Allah had earlier accused Tinubu of using the protest to distort the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Opera News also claimed that a certain Professor Alexander Adebisi in the Department of History and International Relations of the University of Ibadan had also accused the former Lagos State governor of masterminding the protests.
But checks by The Guardian on the university’s website showed that there is no Department of History and International Studies. But a Department of History is currently listed on the website.
Moreover, there was no Professor Alexander Adebisi listed among the academic staff of the Faculty of Arts, under which the Department of History operates.
Tinubu’s spokesman, however, denied having any link with the sponsorship of the protest which is gradually putting the country on lockdown.
“Asiwaju Tinubu could not have sponsored the #EndSARS protest that has blocked one of the main entries into and out of Lagos and one of the economic arteries of the Lagos State Government,” Rahman said. “He could also not have sponsored such a protest where he too has been labelled a target by the organizers.
“It is, therefore, the height of illogicality to ascribe the sponsorship of the protest to Asiwaju.”
Like most Nigerians, Rahman said Tinubu believes that the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) “brutality and untoward conduct against innocent youths and other Nigerians have gone on for too long and that security outfit ought to be disbanded as demanded by the protesters.
Tinubu, according to Rahman, believes that Nigeria Police needs some reorganisation but urged Nigerian youths to wait, exercise restraint for dialogue and reform promised by the government to commence.