#EndSARS: CODE Tasks President Buhari on Fundamental Obligation to Secure Lives of Citizens

Communications October 14, 2020 0

In the wake of the #EndSARS protest where millions of young Nigerians across the globe have unanimously called for the dissolution of the rogue Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigerian Police Force, Connected Development (CODE), hereby demands that the Nigerian Government awakes to its fundamental obligation of securing the lives and property of its citizenry.

Nigerians have long battled the menace of dire brazen security challenges—ranging from Boko Haram insurgency to Farmer-Herders clash, spate of sexual and gender-based violence and the menace of the rogue police unit. Actions to combat these security conditions have been inconsequential compared to the magnitude of attacks and chaos in their wake. With corruption entrenched in the sector, sustaining an effective and efficient security policy continues to be a far-cry.  

The challenges threatening the sovereignty of the country are enormous; now is not the time for President Muhammadu Buhari to be verbose. Youths are being hunted and killed unjustly; families are displaced; livelihoods are destroyed, human rights are violated    Nigerians deserve stability, security and an improved quality of life.

It is no news that the security sector is highly politicised and has since become a tool of government coercion —with journalists and civil society members being unlawfully detained. The constitutional rights of the Nigerian citizen have consistently been infringed, disrespected and people now live in fear—depicting a total mockery of our democracy.

The Nigerian leadership must seize this opportunity to walk the talk and drive a much-needed security sector reform. It is not enough to merely dissolve the unit of the Nigerian Police; CODE demands that perpetrators of the police/SARS brutality and extrajudicial killings face the wrath of the law and are held accountable, especially leading up to those peaceful protesters who were either shot or killed during this recent protest. There must also be a thorough investigation into all alleged SARS-induced disappearances & killings.

The embodiment of the Security force must rethink the lame strategy of overburdening security agencies and vigilante groups and invest in adequate training and capacity building. This will reduce overhead and operational costs, efficiently improve the security expenditure and expose the inherent corruption in the system.  The apparent lack of transparency and opaque budget and procurement practices in the management and utilization of security funds in Nigeria has contributed to its operational shortcomings and frequent misconduct.

It is quite unfortunate that the President has not displayed the political will and courage to remedy these problems. He should seize this opportunity to win back citizens’ trust.

We commend the thousands of Nigerian Youth that took to the streets over the weekend to protest and decry alarming police brutality, assaults and wanton killing of young unassuming Nigerians by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad. This shows that when advocacy is intentional and our voice is unified, citizens have the ability to spur the change we need to see. Nigerians should not be silent in the face of injustice but must continue to speak against it.

For Media Enquiries:

Kevwe Oghide

Communications Director,  kevwe@connecteddevelopment.org

Learn more about Connected Development on www.connecteddevelopment.org

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Hamzat Lawal January 4, 2016 0

Happy New Year!!! Welcome to 2016; as we slowly and sadly leave the holidays [which I enjoyed, hope you did] and kick-start the year let’s look at what trends are expected to shape Nigeria socio-economically as many people expect the “change” mantra of the Buhari’s administration to enter full gear.

January kicks off with a 50 kobo [N0:50K] decrease in the pump price of petrol, making the black gold retail at the price of N86:50k for Africa’s most populous nation, a change that many Nigerians feel has no major effect and a change many petrol stations are not complying to.

Budget: The 2016 federal budget was presented before a joint session of the National Assembly last year which was proposed at N6.08 trillion, and was dubbed a non-oil budget as only 13% of the budget outlay is expected to come from oil.
The situation could get harder than envisaged as the International Monetary Fund [IMF] has said that crude oil prices may slump to as low as $20 per barrel in 2016.

With Nigeria expected to produce 2.2 million barrels of crude oil per day in 2016 and sell at $38 per barrel, the country expects to generate $83.6 million per day in 2016 – $30.514 billion in the year 2016.
Going by IMF’s predictions at $20, Nigeria would generate $44 million per day in 2016, amounting to $16.060 billion in the year.

This would mean that Nigeria would get at least 47.4 percent less revenue from oil than what is already projected
The debate in past years has always been how close the benchmark should be to the price of crude. Excess crude account was created in the good old years to warehouse the difference between benchmark and actual price. This is no longer the case as Government now has to plan with expectation that actual crude price will rise back to benchmark.

Perhaps, balancing the exchange rate amy help cushion the effect. Official exchange rate is currently N197 to a Dollar.

Budget 2016

Budget 2016

Security: The deadline given to the Army by President Buhari for the insurgency in most of the North East passed and it was celebrated that victory had been accomplish; hopefully it would be the roadmap to a peaceful year in terms of security save a little hiccups here and there.
With faith lost by the populace in the Nigerian Police Force, we can only hope that hope is rekindled in 2016 as the police are first responders to issues of domestic insecurity and violence.

Justice: Moving on, the performance of Buhari’s administration would be a topic for every occasion as issues surrounding Supreme Court verdicts for Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Taraba states governorship elections being expected in the first quarter of this year, it is envisaged that whatever becomes the outcome would alter the political configuration of the affected states. Not to forget the legal confusion in Kogi State after the demise of late Prince Abubakar Audu who was the running candidate of the ruling APC party.

Corruption: The President’s stance on corruption is also going to be tested given his commitment to stamp the menace and the general that he is a “no-nonsense” person.
Issues like “Dasukigate”, the scandal facing the former National Security Adviser Lieutenant Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and others over the embezzlement of 2.2 billion Dollars, the Hyde Park Lane saga facing former Minster of Petroleum, Diezani Allison-Maduekwe and many more cases that Nigerians are itching to hear.
It is interesting to note that more than just hearing about the gazillions that are looted from the nation’s purse, citizens are clamouring for stringent convictions.

Unemployment: Finally, N5,000 stipends to be paid to unemployed youth as promised during the campaign of Mr. President and the growing state of idle youth. A policy that many analysts view as one that said in the heat of the moment.
Concerns are centred around how feasible is the policy and what baseline data would be used to assess the number of unemployed youth [for a nation that has 70% of its population leaving below the poverty line]

With the harmattan in full swing, it’s never been a better time to put on your shades, buy some popcorn and watch the drama unfold daily. Happy New Year & God Bless Nigeria.