Popular Nigerian artiste, Mr Oladapo Oyebanjo, popularly known as D’Banj, has advocated for a total overhaul of the country’s policing structure to reflect a people-oriented system.
D’Banj made the call in a statement he issued on Tuesday after a stakeholder meeting held with the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, against the backdrop of widespread protest against police brutality.
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He said the new Nigeria police should have regards for people’s rights, due process and constitutional law as contained in the five-point demand of protestors.
The protesters had demanded an order by the Inspector General of Police to all State Commands to halt the use of force against protesters; Unconditional release of arrested protesters and citizens.
They also demanded open communication and outreach to citizens to establish trust and confidence as well as a roadmap for the implementation of the White Paper of the Presidential Panel on the Reform of the SARS.
D’Banj noted that the nationwide protest against police brutality stemmed from the general distrust held by the public against the Police from years of abuse, disregards for rights and due process.
He urged the Federal Government to follow through the demands of the protestors with intent and purpose as to restore public faith in the police as agents of civil order.
The musician expressed faith that the leadership of the police would follow through with calls for public reform, and commended the Inspector-General of Police for embracing dialogue and consultation to ensure a reformed Police.
He commended the resilience of the youths who led a nationwide protest for the dissolution of the Federal Anti-Robbery Squad (F-SARS).
“The peaceful protest is indeed a constitutional right, and as the young public continues to press home the vagaries of its demand, the Police must desist from the use of force to quell the protesters,” he said.
D’Banj regretted the avoidable deaths that have been recorded before and during the protest and vowed that those deaths would not be in vain as culpable officers should be identified and prosecuted.