Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Delta have urged the Federal Government to restructure the entire Nigeria Police force for better performance.
The groups made the call on Monday during a peaceful rally in Warri to mark the World Human Rights Day.
The protesters, mostly boys and girls, converged at the Enerhen Junction, a boundary between Warri and Uvwie Local Government at about 11:00 a.m without obstructing vehicular movement and other commercial activities.
They held placards with inscriptions such as: ” We are Nigerians, our rights no bi privilege, respect my right, end SARS, “I walk around with my laptop does not make me a Yahoo boy’,
Others were: Dreadlocks, Tattoos no be Yahoo boy, ” End SARS, reform Nigeria Police, “SARS must respect human rights in Delta,’ among others.
Addressing newsmen, leader of the protest, Mr Kehinde Taiga, said that the brutality of the Nigeria Police, particularly the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS), was becoming unbearable in the society.
Taiga, who is the Chairman, Committee for the Defence of Human Right (CDHR), Delta chapter, said that restructuring the police force was a better option to ending the menace.
” Police should operate within the ambit of the constitution, they should not be violating the rights of the citizens. The brutality of the police is becoming unbearable.
“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari and the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) to restructure the Nigeria Police and be given a guideline of operation.
” The fundamental human rights are there to be exercised by every citizen, so police should stop violating those rights, the fundamental rights of Nigerians should be respected, ” he said.
Taiga also said that the activities of SARS should be controlled by the State Commands rather than being supervised by a Police Commissioner in Abuja.
Also speaking, Mr Collins Azuike, Lead Partner, “New Warri,” said the group made up of creative youths move about with the cell phones and laptops, adding that they suffered a lot of harassment from the police.
“Of course, there are few bad persons among us that are doing fraudulent things but a good percentage of us are trying to create a better Warri.
” We have our rights, that somebody is carrying a dreadlock does not make him or her a bad person, we want the police to join us to achieve this dream of New Warri where everyone’s right will be protected, ” he said.
Mr Igho Tietie, Convener, “New Warri”, said that there were laid down rules of engagement of the Nigeria Police, adding that the force flote
d those rules.
“That a young man is carrying dreadlocks, tattoos and dress shabilly is not a yardstick to adjudge the persons as a criminial.
” The police brutality is getting too much, when you try to protest for your right, they threaten to shoot you, ” he said.
Efforts to reach the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Delta Command, Mr Andrew Aniamaka, on his cell phone for response was unsuccessful. (NAN)