Ebonyi State government on Monday said it will soon abolish all roadblocks by security agencies in the state.
Governor of the state, David Umahi stated this while addressing ENDSARS protesters at the Old Government House in Abakaliki, the State capital.
The protesters who had marched from the Abakaliki Township Stadium to the Government House blocked the road for over 5 hours until the governor appeared.
One of the protesters, Steve Ugama presented the demands of the protesters to the governor.
The six demands of the protesters include an end to SARS and police brutality and setting up of a commission of enquiry to investigate the activities of SARS.
The youth also demanded payment of compensation to families of victims of police brutality and the release of all those illegally detained in SARS cells.
They also urged the governor to look into the activities of Eke Aba police station and local government task force collectors.
They also urged the governor to investigate one Mr. Chidi Meshack from State CID Abakaliki who was busy taking pictures of the peaceful protesters.
Responding the governor said no one can molest or harass the protesters.
He said that he has already started discussing modalities on how to end roadblocks on the state roads.
He described as unacceptable, a situation where police checkpoints are littered on the roads within a short distance of each other.
He said the roadblocks have become an avenue of extorting the people of the state.
“We want a situation where they can stay by the side, if you see a car that looks suspicious, stop it, search it, and if you don’t find anything you let the car go”.
He charged the youth and people of the state to resist extortion by the police.
“Don’t allow the Police to extort you. If they try to extort you, call me and report them to me directly’, he said after which he proceeded to call out his phone numbers to them.
He said the youths of Nigeria are hardworking which is why 80 percent of his cabinet are youths.
He said: “I want to assure that as far as I remain the Governor of Ebonyi state, nobody is going to molest you. You are fighting for your rights, you are fighting for your children, and you are fighting for your future.
“So, what you are doing is constitutional but you must be orderly to get something out of it. On the issue of activities of police at the Ekeaba police station, we are going to address it.
“You demanded a judicial panel of inquiry, we will set it up tomorrow. The members will be from high court judge, you will deliver two people to be members of a judicial panel of inquiry”.
“There will be one youth representative, one student representative, there will also be a representative of the police and then representative of human right and then one person from the office of the Attorney-General”.
“They will seat and investigate the spate of police brutality, human rights violation, and related extra-judicial killings. They will also recommend compensations.
“There will be a trust fund set under me where the panel of inquiry is expected to collect complaints with the victims of police brutality, we will collect those complaints and then pay compensations.
“There will also be a special committee and human rights committee comprising the Governor to check the excesses of police.
“Security agencies shall be members, those on tactical units of the police shall be members, representative of the youths, and top representative of civil society organizations shall be members too. We are going to have immediately, human rights commission office for easy access to human rights complaints,” he said.
Responding to questions on school resumption, the governor said the state university will resume on Wednesday in the state.
“Any lecturer who doesn’t show up to class on that day will be sacked,” he told the youths.
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