An Open Letter To President Buhari By Oludotun Adetunberu, PhD

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Mr. Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR)

President and Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces,

Federal Republic of Nigeria.

11th October, 2020.

Your Excellency,

#ENDSARS; THE COUNTRY IS INCHING TOWARDS A DANGEROUS CLIMAX

Mr. President, you have my esteemed regards as always. I write as a patriotic Nigerian in respect of the above subject matter.

2.       Precisely, 5th October 2020, Nigerian Youth continues to the street protesting an end to a tactical squad of the Nigeria Police Force, popularly known as Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). It seems to be a misnomer and antithetical that civilians are rejecting security for insecurity; policing for robbery in strong terms. The agitation of the young Nigerians has not only got local attention but global. I will like to bring to your attention Mr. President that #EndSARS is listed as one of the top global trending topics within the last 72hours. Mr. President, the State Anti-Robbery Squad has lost the trust and confidence of the Nigerian people. It is an impossible task to foist a policy on a dissenting majority. This is DEMOCRACY. It is the government OF the PEOPLE, BY the PEOPLE and FOR the PEOPLE. Your Excellency, it is rhetoric to ponder if the protest was about the unprofessional conduct of some operatives of SARS or a deceptive clamour for freedom in other to perpetrate crimes unchecked. The extrajudicial killing of SARS is on a very high side; second in rating to Bokoharam insurgency in the Northeast.

3.       It will be suicidal to politicise the #EndSARS campaign. It will be adversative to engage harmless Nigerians with lethal weapon and live bullets. It will be a breach of your social contract with Nigerians if you decide to be mute when souls are lost daily and more may, likely. It is important you speak as a father now before there is a total collapse of law and order!

4.       As a Security Scholar and Consultant, from my findings, the hasty decision of the Inspector General of Police to withdraw SARS Operative from the highway sent a wrong signal. It demoralised the operatives; giving the emboldened protesters a free day. Having found this, some unscrupulous elements took advantage of this to infiltrate the protest. Within a week that IGP Mohammed Adamu mni has banned his men from the streets, there has been an upsurge in kidnapping, robbery and other crimes. Mr. President, it will be unfair not to mention the good associated with SARS. Many kidnappers have been arrested and unlimited robbery operations have been foiled by these men. Why the sudden change?

5.       Mr. President, this then boils to interrogating #ENDSARS viz-a-viz the contending issues.

          a. The Nigerian people want the Unit to be scrapped. This is not much, if it will restore trust and confidence in your leadership. The IGP can come up with another tactical unit that would address the Anti-robbery operations, Afterall the unit wasn’t pronounced not until 2009 despite being in existence since 1992. Lessons from the failure of SARS can be enjoyed by the new tactical team.

b. The Nigerian people want a deliberate investigation into the allegations of abuse of Human Rights, extortions, corruption, extrajudicial killings and disrespect for the rule of law. This can be achieved either by a fact-finding committee set up by Your Excellency; a public hearing by the National Assembly; a recommendation by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum or a directive to the Office of the National Security Adviser.

c. The Nigerian people want a professional tactical team with adequate training. One could hardly differentiate a criminal from a SARS operative. (Please find attached pictorial evidence of demon-like operatives paraded as SARS officers, across the country).

6.       Your Excellency, your people are hungry and angry! Testing the will of an angry populace could be a disaster. The country is inching towards a dangerous climax. ACT NOW!

Accept my respects, Mr. President.

Oludotun ADETUNBERU Ph.D

Oil Pipeline and Maritime Security Consultant

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