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#ENDSARS: Atiku renews call for state police, pays tribute to victims of protest



The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, on Thursday, renewed his demand for the decentralization of Nigeria’s policing system.

Atiku, who stated this in a series of tweets on his Twitter handle on the day the Nigerian youths marked the second anniversary of the #EDNSARS protest in the country, decried the violent dispersion of the peaceful protesters at the Lekki Tollgate by security agents.

The #ENDSARS movement of October 2020 was an unprecedented nationwide protest by youths against police brutality in Nigeria.

The mass protest forced the Federal Government to dissolve the notorious Special Anti-Robbery Squad unit of the Nigerian Police Force.

The protest was characterized by attacks, looting and arson by hoodlums who infiltrated the protesters. Over 60 died in the two weeks protests across the country.

However, the protest ended on a brutal note when soldiers from the 81 Division stormed the Lekki tollgate on the night of October 20 and opened fire on unarmed protesters.

However, the Nigerian government and its sympathizers had since the killing of the protesters on that fateful night.

Scores of youths gathered at the tollgate on Thursday to mark the historic event.

READ ALSO: ‘Nigeria needs state police to tackle banditry’

Videos and pictures of the rallies circulated on social media showed policemen firing teargas canisters at the youths.

In the post, the ex-Vice President condemned police brutality and reiterated his support for the establishment of state police.

He wrote, “Two years ago, on this day, I shared a statement of sincere disappointment, anger, condemnation and pain. Two years after, that position has not changed. The sad memory of what happened is what we cannot wish away.

“There’s still a compelling need for police reforms incorporating State Police and justice for those who have suffered police brutality. I maintain the position expressed in this video broadcast on 20/10/20.

“Our children MUST be heard and provided with spaces to express themselves within the ambit of the law and given opportunities too. My heart is still shattered for the families who lost loved ones during the #ENDSARS demonstration. I stand with all families still grieving from their loss. – AA”

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