The British parliament has set a date to debate numerous petitions seeking sanctions against the President Muhammadu Buhari led government over its handling of the #EndSARS protests.
Hundreds of thousands of Nigerians home and abroad had petitioned the United Kingdom to probe the violation of rights and killings of protesters demanding an end to police ruthlessness and killings last month.
The Nigerian President has yet to hold any military official or appointees to account for death of protesters at the Lekki Tollgate on Tuesday October 20 as his government continues to dispute several reports that soldiers opened fire on armless demonstrators.
Mr Buhari and his cabinet say they are awaiting findings of the Lagos state judicial panel on the Lekki killings as well as the findings of other disparate panels set up by states of the federation.
CNN Investigation Reveals Shocking Details Of How Nigerian Army Killed Unarmed EndSARS Protesters At Lekki Tollgate
The administration has also targeted hundreds of citizens who took part in the protests with arrest, travel restrictions and bank accounts freezing.
President Buhari also recently asked the international community to make adequate findings before commenting on the #EndSARS issues.
In a nationwide broadcast after the Lekki incident, Buhari said his government will not allow the continuous breakdown of law and order in the country.
“It has become necessary for me to address you having heard from many concerned Nigerians and having concluded a meeting with all the Security Chiefs,” he said.
“I must warn those who have hijacked and misdirected the initial, genuine and well – intended protest of some of our youths in parts of the country, against the excesses of some members of the now disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
“On Monday 12th October, I acknowledged the genuine concerns and agitations of members of the public regarding the excessive use of force by some members of SARS… To our neighbours in particular, and members of the international community, many of whom have expressed concern about the ongoing development in Nigeria, we thank you and urge you all to seek to know all the facts available before taking a position or rushing to judgement and making hasty pronouncements.”
However, the British parliament has scheduled November 23 to debate petitions calling for sanctions against the Nigerian government.
It is nonetheless unclear whether the British lawmakers would recommend sanctions after debating the petitions, or if the government would implement them considering Nigeria’s long-standing ties with the UK.
Buhari won’t allow repeat of #EndSARS protests — Police Affair Minister
Meanwhile, the Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Dingyadi, on Tuesday, said the President has vowed to do whatever it takes to prevent a repeat of the #EndSARS protests that rocked parts of the country recently.
Dingyadi disclosed this to State House correspondents at the end of a meeting of the National Security Council presided over by the President at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He further quoted the President as promising more support for the nation’s security agencies to maintain peace.
The minister said, “In his concluding remarks, Mr President thanked members for the efforts they are making in maintains peace and assured members that he will do whatever it takes to support security agencies in providing peace in the country.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson
“Mr President assured Nigerians that he will do whatever it takes to ensure that a repeat of ENDSARS protests does not occur in Nigeria again.
“Mr President reassured all that all stakeholders will be involved in the process of maintaining peace in the country, particularly the youth, community leaders, traditional rulers, politicians, public servants, religious leaders etc.
“The Federal Government will continue to maintain its bureaucratic, humane, and just postures in handling security matters in the country.”
When asked if the President’s promise not to allow a repeat of EndSARS protests means his regime will be clamping down on prospective protesters, the minister replied, “What we are saying is that government will continue to dialogue, it will continue to listen and will continue to carry all stakeholders along in ensuring that there is no repeat of what happened that led to the destruction of a lot of properties, public and private, individuals in this country.”
Dingyadi said the meeting which was convened to brief the President on the security situation in the country, noted with concern the increasing cases of armed banditry particularly in the North West and North-East.
He said the meeting agreed that security agencies should be more proactive in dealing with the situation in a more decisive manner.
“The meeting noted the need to pay greater attention to the police in the discharge of its functions to maintain peace in the country, in the areas of equipment and modern technology.
“The meeting thanked the President for the concern which he has shown in repositioning the police to perform more effectively,” he added.
Although the minister said security agencies have targets and timeline to deliver, he did not disclose the details of the target and the timeline.
He also claimed that bandits have already been degraded, adding that they are only engaging on “hit-and-run kind of tactics.”
He also said there was no truth in the report that policemen have abandoned the Abuja-Kaduna Road.
While saying that policemen and soldiers are embarking on joint patrol of the road, the minister agreed that efforts must be intensified to make the road safe for travellers.
Dingyadi also said he reported to the council that policemen have returned to their duty posts after their withdrawal in the wake of the protests.
He, however, admitted that policemen cannot be everywhere at the same time.
Vice-President Yemi Osinabjo, relevant ministers, and all heads of the nation’s security agencies attended the meeting with Buhari.