The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) has called on Nigerian youths to shun any form of violence in the ongoing nationwide protests against police brutality.
ASCSN National President, Mr Bola Audu-Innocent and Secretary-General, Mr Alade Bashir Lawal, made the call in a joint statement on Wednesday in Abuja.
The union commended President Muhammadu Buhari for dissolving the dreaded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
“Disbanding of SARS by the Federal Government following mass protests by youths and civil society groups across the country demonstrated clearly that Buhari listens to the cries of the people.
“The announcement on Oct. 11, by the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to the effect that the much-criticised SARS has been scrapped really poured balm on the frayed nerves of millions of Nigerians.
“This is why we commend Mr President for bringing to an end the ugly saga of SARS and accordingly urge the youths to make the ongoing nation-wide agitations violence-free so as not to defeat the purpose for which the protests are being carried out,” the union said.
The union urged the government to ensure that the new policing arrangement being worked out to replace SARS should be structured in a manner that would make it acceptable to Nigerians.
According to the statement, the police reforms should be holistic in nature to ensure that the allegations levelled against SARS do not find their ways into the Police Force through another guise.
“We also wish to strongly advise that officers and men that will be deployed to the new unit when established should be exposed to constant training and retraining.
“This should follow modern policing methods including how to relate and treat the citizens with civility and refrain from acting in manners that tend to suggest that they are out to cow, oppress, and humiliate the populace, ” the union said.
It also called for the new unit to have a functional model of monitoring, evaluation and enforcement required of a Police Unit that dealt with the public on daily basis.
The union also called for the creation of Bureau and Strategic Stakeholders Forum as a regular platform to receive complaints on the activities of police officers.
According to them, it will go a long way to minimise frictions and restore the confidence of the citizens in the policing system in the country.
“It is also our hope that the planned investigative team that will be an arm of the new policing arrangement will respond promptly to complaints and carry out the thorough investigation while officers found culpable will be brought to justice.
“We have no doubt whatsoever that if these reforms are implemented, the new envisaged Police Unit to be saddled with combating violent crimes will meet the aspirations of Nigerians,” the union said.