Opinions

Enenche Enenche: End SARS: The speech President Buhari never delivered

I stand before you today at this solemn moment to add my hope to yours as we move through a trying moment in our history.

As your leader, before I proceed I take responsibility for every action that precipitated this dark cloud of grief over us.

The history of police brutality predated my administration, we have tried in the past to make changes in the Nigeria Police to position her for optimum productivity and efficiency, but the realities of the last two weeks awakens in us that there is so much to be done.

Our youths we referred to as “leaders of tomorrow” clearly showed us that that tomorrow has come.

The Nigerian youths came out in their numbers, defying every sentiment that keeps us apart to press for justice, happiness and sense of pride in their beloved country.

From Lagos to Abuja, Port Harcourt to Aba, Enugu to Akure, Akwuzu to Illorin, the message was loud and clear.

I have never been prouder of the leadership, resilience, hope in our country, faith in ourselves, creativity and innovations demonstrated by our youths as they made their demands known from our streets.

From the streets I saw a lady Jane with clutches, she came out with one leg to add her voice, but she went home with two legs courtesy of the ingenuity and compassion of Nigerians.

From the streets I saw a nursing woman with a child, stretching a twisted fist towards a people to give more meaning to her voice, because the future of the child in her hand must be secured.

From the streets I saw a young lady weeping, she sat on a statue meditating on how her loved ones fell for police brutality, but in that her moment of grief, she still held on to our banner in her hands. She still has hope in Nigeria.

A little girl marched with a flag, demonstrating beauty and courage, believing in our future like we believe in hers.

The music and gyrations sank your messages even harder. The spirit to share food, water and even phone charging points was inspiring and almost made me to join you.

The most astonishing part of the protest is the swiftness to clear the grounds of wastes, young men and women walked behind with leather bags, staining their hands to keep paths of protests clean. I appreciate you for this rare show of leadership.

Thank you once again, like my vice said earlier, we are sorry. We take responsibility for the past and present and would need you to work out the future you are yearning for.

If there is anything your protest taught me, is the fact that the future of Nigeria is bright because you have shown capacity to manage this country well even when we are far gone. Your leadership qualities as expressed on streets in Nigeria and across the globe, if continued would make us the generation before you sleep well in our graves knowing that Nigeria your country is in safe hands.

Your five-point demand was adopted. We immediately banned Special Anti Robbery Squad and not to create a vacuum we created the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), and we are working hard on the remaining four which includes setting up Commissions of Inquiry which is being done across the country as I speak.

We are giving SWAT befitting trainings and equipment to equip them in fighting crimes in the most professional way our limited resources can afford, and I am assuring you that no members of the disbanded SARS will be a member of the newly formed SWAT. The Inspector General of Police is working hard on this directive.

The peaceful protests would later become a ground where all manners of interests wanted to hijack to find expressions. Hoodlums attacked protesters, burned down businesses and the lives and properties were in danger.

Last night remains my most traumatic and longest night in my life. Rains of bullets on peaceful protesters left behind rains of tears across homes and faces of Nigerians.

I stand to offer my deepest condolences to families involved and Nigerians at large.

We are still on the situation and would not spare anyone found wanting. The deaths of our youths doing their constitutional right to peaceful protest is regretted and I condemn the act with every sense of pain, anguish and sympathy.

Our youths must see these deaths as painful as they are, these fallen heroes paid the supreme sacrifice standing with our flag, singing our anthem, believing in us and our country even to the very end. They are the true heroes and heroines in our struggle for a New Nigeria.

May God heal Nigeria, Goodnight Nigeria!

Enenche Enenche

Abuja, Nigeria.

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