By Ernest Nzor, Abuja
Civil society members of the Nigeria Open Government Partnership (OGP) Steering Committee, have called on the federal government to implement all the demands of the #EndSARS protest.
In a press statement signed by all the civil society organisations who are members of the OGP Steering Committee and made available to LEADERSHIP, the organisations condemned the response of the government to the #EndSARS peaceful protests led by the Nigerian Youths.
“It is with utter shock and disbelief that we have watched how the government of Nigeria has responded to the peaceful #EndSARS protests led by Nigerian Youths demanding an end to police brutality, especially from the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
“The youths, who took to peaceful demonstrations in major cities across the country, about two weeks ago, were met with violent responses ranging from teargas and water sprays to physical assaults, battery and the most recent allegation of atrocious use of live ammunition by the Police. This response from the government is an aberration in any civilised society and constitutes a violation of the constitutional rights of Nigerians to life, freedom of expression and assembly, as well as the right to peaceful protests, all of which are guaranteed by regional and international human rights instruments to which Nigeria is a party. The action is also a clear contradiction of Nigeria’s commitment to open government.
The organisations called on the federal government to take a conciliatory approach in dealing with issues raised by the youths regarding the “EndSARS protest and also implement all their demands.
“As representatives of civil society members on the OGP Nigeria National Steering Committee, having listened to President Muhammadu Buhari’s speech, we call on the government to immediately take a conciliatory approach in dealing with the issues raised by the youths and other Nigerians regarding the #EndSARS protests, by accelerating processes that will help the government regain trust of citizens by speedily implementing the five (5for5) demands made by the protesters which was accepted by the government as a fair and reasonable demand.”
The Civil society members of the OGP that signed the statement include, Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC), Media Rights Agenda (MRA), Centre for Social Justice (CENSOJ), Publish What You Pay Nigeria (PWYP), Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Africa Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development (Centre LSD), Meluibe Foundation, BudgIT Nigeria, CLEEN Foundation, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), Stakeholder Democracy Network (SDN), Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJJ) and Freedom of Information Coalition (FOIC).