Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has finally spoken on the ongoing #EndSARS protests across the country and the rest of the world.
There have been calls for the vice-president, who is a professor of law, to speak up on the demand by the youth to end police brutality in Nigeria.
On Friday night, the vice-president apologised to Nigerians for the slow response of the federal government to the issues.
“Dear Nigerians, I know that many of you are angry, and understandably so. We could’ve moved faster and for this we are sorry,” he wrote.
“I fully understand how many young people feel. Many feel that we have been too silent and have simply not done enough. These feelings of frustration are justified.
“There are far too many people who have been brutalised at the hands of the police and this is unacceptable. We must take responsibility for protecting young people, even sometimes from those who are paid to protect them.
“Over the past week, we have been following the protests, and I have had a number of discussions with key people in the administration that you deserve to be informed about. Transparency, after all, is a key tenet of government.”
He said he has held meetings with governors, the executives of the national assembly and other key stakeholders to ensure justice is served fast.
“We understand that you want to see action from us and I’m here to tell you that work is ongoing. I chaired a meeting of 36 state governors and the Minister of the FCT (NEC), where we resolved to set up judicial panels of inquiry so we can see justice served, and fast,” he added.
“The reason being that only state governors, by law, can set up judicial inquiries in their states. The hearings will be public.
“With Mr. President’s approval, SARS has been completely disestablished, and none of its former members will feature in any police tactical units.”
The vice-president said he is sending his “deepest condolences to the families of Jimoh Isiaq, and all those who have lost their lives at the hands of wayward police officers. To those injured, I wish a full and speedy recovery”.
“We have proposed that each state government set up a Victims’ Support Fund, which @NigeriaGov will support. This is the least that we can do to compensate for the injustice suffered at the hands of errant officers.
“We also understand that the issues that you’re raising are bigger than just SARS. They’re deep and systemic and we’re undertaking comprehensive measures that will revamp the police by addressing issues of welfare, service conditions and training.”
The #EndSARS protests to address systemic issues of governance in Nigeria has gone on for eight days.