#YNaijaEndSARSupdate: The President has spoken, but does it change anything?

When the President of Nigeria decides to give a public address to the Nigerian people, you know that it has to be something severe. We heard the President speak when he was running for office, we heard him speak when a global pandemic hit, and now the President emerged to speak again, addressing the ongoing civil unrest as a result of the #Endsars movement.

It is an established fact, President Muhammadu Buhari hardly ever speaks to the people. But rarely does a President, no matter how disconnected he is, remain silent to a phenomenon that is threatening to halt economic activities, spur international backlash and cause the massive loss of lives and properties.

The President speaking as a result of the pressure applied by the efforts of the youths, is a victory. Small as it may be, it remains a victory. However, this is as far as the victory goes.

While the President addressed the youths, he failed to procure a tangible solution to the current crises and of course he didn’t deliver the message the youths had hoped to hear, which is the announcement of the complete demobilization of SARS.

In retrospect, he gave the politically correct response. He recognized the outrage of the youths – outrage as a result of the excessive use of force by police officers, and the numerous reported extrajudicial killings.

He also mentioned that, “The disbanding of SARS is only the first step in our commitment to extensive police reforms in order to ensure that the primary duty of the police and other law enforcement agencies remains the protection of lives and livelihood of our people.”

He then promised to investigate reported cases of police brutality that has spawned this outrage, and also look into the killings of protesters by the police in Oyo state. His statement has caused a huge stir online and people don’t seem too pleased with his supposedly vague sounding announcement.

People declared that there was no difference between the President’s speech and that of the Inspector General of Police, Muhammed Adamu, which hadn’t also been well received.

 

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