File photo of Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has apologized to Nigerians and admits the Federal Government could have “moved faster” in addressing the demands of #EndSARS protesters. 

“Dear Nigerians, I know that many of you are angry, and understandably so. We could’ve moved faster and for this we are sorry,” he said in a series of tweets on his handle late Friday.

“I fully understand how many young people feel. Many feel that we have been too silent and have simply not done enough. These feelings of frustration are justified.”

#EndSARS protesters during a candlelight procession in honor of victims of police brutality.

Taking Responsibility

According to him, “There are far too many people who have been brutalized at the hands of the police and this is unacceptable.

“We must take responsibility for protecting young people, even sometimes from those who are paid to protect them.”

He also believes the protests rocking the country goes beyond agitations about the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

“They’re deep and systemic and we’re undertaking comprehensive measures that will revamp the police by addressing issues of welfare, service conditions, and training,” he explained.

A file photo of protesters in Abuja.Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV.

Ongoing Work

According to the former University of Lagos lecturer, meetings have been held with several stakeholders in the country with a view to addressing the demands of the youths who are championing the protests.

“We understand that you want to see action from us and I’m here to tell you that work is ongoing,” the Vice President noted. “I chaired a meeting of 36 state governors and the Minister of the FCT (NEC), where we resolved to set up judicial panels of inquiry so we can see justice served, and fast.

“The reason being that only state governors, by law, can set up judicial inquiries in their states. The hearings will be public.”

While reiterating the disbandment of SARS, he assured that officers from the unit will not be part of any tactical squad.

Osinbajo equally commiserated with the “families of Jimoh Isiaq, and all those who have lost their lives at the hands of wayward police officers. To those injured, I wish a full and speedy recovery.

“We have proposed that each state government set up a Victims’ Support Fund, which will support. This is the least that we can do to compensate for the injustice suffered at the hands of errant officers.”

Read his tweets, below:

Dear Nigerians, I know that many of you are angry, and understandably so. We could’ve moved faster and for this we are sorry.

— Prof Yemi Osinbajo (@ProfOsinbajo) October 16, 2020

Several meetings have been held with: the @SPLawan@femigbaja, the Chief of Staff to @MuhammaduBuhari, Chairman of the @PoliceServiceC2, the IG of @PoliceNG (IGP), the Executive Secretary of @NHRCNigeria, and governors.

— Prof Yemi Osinbajo (@ProfOsinbajo) October 16, 2020

We understand that you want to see action from us and I’m here to tell you that work is ongoing. I chaired a meeting of 36 state governors and the Minister of the FCT (NEC), where we resolved to set up judicial panels of inquiry so we can see justice served, and fast.

— Prof Yemi Osinbajo (@ProfOsinbajo) October 16, 2020

The reason being that only state governors, by law, can set up judicial inquiries in their states. The hearings will be public.

— Prof Yemi Osinbajo (@ProfOsinbajo) October 16, 2020

With Mr. President’s approval, SARS has been completely disestablished, and none of its former members will feature in any police tactical units.

— Prof Yemi Osinbajo (@ProfOsinbajo) October 16, 2020

I am sending my deepest condolences to the families of Jimoh Isiaq, and all those who have lost their lives at the hands of wayward police officers. To those injured, I wish a full and speedy recovery.

— Prof Yemi Osinbajo (@ProfOsinbajo) October 16, 2020

We have proposed that each state government set up a Victims’ Support Fund, which @NigeriaGov will support. This is the least that we can do to compensate for the injustice suffered at the hands of errant officers.

— Prof Yemi Osinbajo (@ProfOsinbajo) October 16, 2020

We also understand that the issues that you’re raising are bigger than just SARS. They’re deep and systemic and we’re undertaking comprehensive measures that will revamp the police by addressing issues of welfare, service conditions and training.

— Prof Yemi Osinbajo (@ProfOsinbajo) October 16, 2020

On Monday, Mr. President also reiterated his commitment to these extensive police reforms.

— Prof Yemi Osinbajo (@ProfOsinbajo) October 16, 2020

We will continue to update and engage with you all on these action steps and the ones to come, in the spirit of transparency, so that you can hold us accountable. We are, after all, here to serve you and we owe you a duty to win back your trust.

Keep safe. God bless you. – YO pic.twitter.com/jOYmh1i6wJ

— Prof Yemi Osinbajo (@ProfOsinbajo) October 16, 2020

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