The apex body of the Urhobo ethnic nationality, Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) Worldwide, called on governments at all levels in the country to regard the #ENDSARS protests as a wake-up call to ‘up their game’, by improving governance and ensuring complete sense of belonging and a better deal for all Nigerians, particularly the youths.
UPU in a statement by the National Publicity Secretary, Hon. Abel Oshevire, said the planned reform of the Police should be complete and must include adequate funding, a foolproof recruitment process, comprehensive welfare package and remuneration, as well as proper re-orientation of the personnel to conform to modern policing.
The body declared its total support for the #ENDSARS protest and ongoing crusade to stop Police brutality in the country.
The UPU said, “We thank President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, for listening to the voice of the People, especially the Youths, by promptly directing the disbandment of SARS.
“We condemn in its totality the violence meted on peaceful protesters in Lagos, Abuja, Delta and some other parts of the country. These attacks are not only barbaric, but are undemocratic and capable of leading to unnecessary bloodshed.
“We want to commend the Inspector-General of Police for the actions taken so far on the vexed issue and his assurances to Nigerians. However, we reject the hasty replacement of SARS with SWAT, because the timing is both inauspicious and suspicious. What Nigerians want is not only a truly reformed Police Force, but a permanent stop to any form of Police brutality, and such reform cannot be achieved with a quick-fix.
“Nigerians want a complete overhaul of the entire Police system to a modern, 21st Century one, where its personnel are rid of the brutish colonial mentality and orientation of unleashing violence on defenceless citizens in the course of Policing.
“It is time to have a Police Force where the personnel adhere strictly to the Nigerian Constitution, respect the rights of the citizens, and promote ethical behaviour while performing their duties, even under cover of darkness.
“It is time to have a Police Force that is responsible and responsive, that adheres strictly to the rule of law, has respect for life and liberty, and is guided by the principles of justice.
“The Government should transform the Police Force into an institution that wins the confidence, willing cooperation and unsolicited approval of the public at all times. It should be closer to the people and not be an instrument of fear, intimidation, sorrow and tears.
“We hereby call on the Federal Government to urgently, painstakingly and passionately address the issue of personnel welfare, living condition, reward system and benefits in such a way to boost morale, confidence and job satisfaction, so as to prevent disillusionment, poor motivation and low morale within the rank and file.
“We, hereby, commend the #ENDSARS protesters for their patriotic actions. We urge them to shun any attempt to cause chaos, ethnic and religious divisiveness, criminality and politicisation as they present their advocacy,” the UPU said in the statement.