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ENDSARS protests would continue until authorities listen to the people says rights activist, Awosanya

SEGUN Awosanya, a human rights activist has said that the ongoing ENDSARS protests demanding for the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad  (SARS) of the Nigeria Police Force would continue as long as the Nigerian Government fails to listen to the voices of the people.

Awosanya whose social media profile shows as the convener of ENDSARS stated this on Saturday morning when he appeared on Channels Television Programme, Sunrise Daily.

“It will go on because the authorities are not listening to the people, if they listen enough, these things that we are seeing today, we have actually mentioned it to them long before now that it is going to get to this point (protest) if they continue to be insensitive to the call of the people,” Awosanya said.

Speaking on the demands of the protestants, Awosanya said the objective behind the call for ENDSARS  was to stop the culture of impunity in the country.

UPDATED: Extrajudicial Killings caused by SARS (2016-2020)

“What are the people asking for, they are saying shut down impunity, end the culture of impunity where people get away with crimes. If an armed robber commits a crime with a gun we know what the penalties are but what about the police officers who are paid by taxpayer’s money who use the state’s weapons to rob innocent citizens and they get transferred and we keep seeing them,” Awosanya noted.

He also lamented that Nigerians have lost confidence in SARS due to the continuous victimization and misconduct perpetrated by its operatives.

“If super corrupt people or cultist are seen wearing police uniforms and brandishing guns, what kind of confidence or perception do we think the people would have about SARS or special operatives.

“If you call a unit within the police system whether SARS or Special Tactical Squads, Special Anti-Cultism or Anti-Kidnapping and they are no longer special, they are all over the place taking bribes, seizing people, indiscriminately killing people. How do you want people to feel towards that? Awosanya asked rhetorically.

The activist added that the government has come out to announce reforms within the police at different times but there has not been any change in the SARS or the police system.

“We have heard you talk about reform, in 2015, 2016 down to 2020 and nothing has changed on the ground, people are still being assaulted, killed and raped in the police station.

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“In as much as we understand the objective of the call is to shut down impunity, that is, all tactical squad who are acting as a law unto themselves, the holistic and the end goal about reforming the entire police in Nigeria,” he further stated.

On the street and on social media, Nigerians are calling for the disbandment of SARS on basis of misconduct, murder and other human rights violation.

The protest has also attracted the attention of foreign media and celebrities who joined the protesters to demand action from the Nigerian government.

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