The scrapping of the SARS unit of the Nigeria Police Force by the Federal Government, in response to the #ENDSARS protests of the youths of the country has been described as mere scraping of the vices that have become cankerworms in the country’s public and private lives. This assertion was made by the Catholic Bishop of Oyo Diocese, Most Rev. Emmanuel Adetoyese Badejo, during a recent interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Describing the action of the government as “a first aid” to buy time to sincerely address a much larger problem, Bishop Badejo declared: Maybe we should all be having an "End Corruption" Or "End Sectionalism" "End Yahoo Yahoo" protest marches. The problem to comprehensively address is: What kind of institution (in this case, the police) system of governance, or federal structure and even society gave birth to such a monster and try to address it sincerely You may scrap SARS but the deficient and ailing structure will generate other such Frankenstein monsters.
While noting that the challenges of the country go beyond the SARS Police unit the stressed the need for the total restructuring of the country’s Police Force, other government agencies; governance and the structure of the country generally. His words: “… the call for the reform of the entire police force makes sense. But then you can stretch it further and show me how many institutions of governance in Nigeria or even the civil service can be free of blame with respect to oppressing the citizens and taking them for granted.”
The bishop added: “Wherever the rule of law has been raped and made comatose the ground becomes fertile for banditry and criminality even among highly trained officers and citizens. That, am afraid, might be very appropriate about Nigeria, our country.”
Speaking on the protest actions of the youths generally, Bishop Badejo noted that: “The protest in itself is good, especially as we seemed to have an unresponsive government which now seems to have been forced awake. However, I support concerns that the protest has been infiltrated, if not hijacked by devious people who have no clear idea what a protest should be and who really don’t care. They just want to destroy.”
He continued: “This however is because there has been so much pent up anger against so many occurrences in the country that many people are not ready to reason with anybody. All they want is an opportunity to lash out in vengeful action. This is not good for our nation. I have said it severally that we all, not just the youth, must take responsibility for demanding accountability from our government institutions and politicians, not just the police.”
Pointing out that all protests must end in negotiation or be condemned to destruction, Bishop Badejo admonished the protesters to reassess their purpose and focus stressing “Mobs generally have no direction and no control and can turn out destructive.” He added: “Let the government deploy all legitimate means to secure dialogue. I like what the governors of Lagos and Oyo are doing with as much openness as possible. That is a good model to follow in all our institutions. Name names, take action to assuage hurts, and bring the guilty to book.”
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