- Sets up Ombudsman to address grievances
Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State on Thursday dissociated himself from the northern governors opposing the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police. While the northern governors were at the State House, Abuja, holding meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari where they registered their rejection of the disbandment of SARS, Governor AbdulRazaq aligned with the populist agenda, joined the #ENDSARS protesters on street walk.
The governor walked with hundreds of #EndSARS protesters to the Police Headquarters in Ilorin, the state capital, in solidarity with the Nigerian youths in the state, appealing to them to remain calm and peaceful while their grievances are promptly addressed.
The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Rafiu Ajakaye, in a statement highlighted that, acknowledging the grievances of the protesters, AbdulRazaq revealed that he and few governors and some businessmen recently held a zoom meeting with some individuals involved in the protest movement following which their five-point demands were forwarded to President Muhammadu Buhari.
The governor disclosed that the President was already acting on the five-point demands of the protesters whose activities, particularly in Kwara, have remained peaceful and largely coordinated.
The Kwara Governor accompanied by the Deputy Governor, Kayode Alabi, joined the protest from the Government House, Ilorin, where the mostly young protesters had converged. He briefly addressed the protesters, then, led them to the police headquarters on their request.
Addressing the protesters at the police headquarters, AbdulRazaq said the young people have spoken loud and clear and would have their interest protected by the government.
The governor announced the setting up of an Ombudsman through which people can channel their grievances and have same attended to in the state. He said the Ombudsman would be the go-between for aggrieved citizens and security agencies.
“However, you look at it, we are all victims. I have since joined the protest. Some of you may notice online that I joined a Zoom meeting on Monday with Hajia Aisha Yesufu, Aliko Dangote, Wizkid and others to arrive at a resolution on this protest. “It was part of this that led to the five-point agenda which is being implemented now by the federal government. The President is definitely listening to the complaints,” AbdulRazaq said.
The governor added: “The Commissioner of Police has listened to your complaints here. I have also listened. I thank you for your calmness.
“I urge you to please give Mr. President the time to implement the five-point agenda. A reform is definitely coming to address all the issues.”
The Governor, however, observed that not everyone in the police are bad, saying that many of them are working hard to ensure public safety.
The protesters had earlier called on the Governor to join them to draw the attention of police authorities to their grievances.
They commended the Governor for joining the protest, urging him to ensure their grievances are addressed.
Kwara State Police Commissioner, Kayode Egbetokun, who also addressed the protesters, commended them for being peaceful, assuring that specific officers mentioned by the protesters would be investigated.
“I want to assure you that the Nigerian Police is with the youth. We have heard your report against some of our officers. I want to implore you to report anything against the Police in this state to me directly. I assure you that action will be taken,” Egbetokun said.
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