The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), has called for dialogue between the Federal Government and #EndSARS protesters for an early and amicable resolution of the social unrest.
The Directorate of Communications in the ECOWAS Commission disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja. The Commission noted with concern how the peaceful protest by Nigerian youths calling for police reform, particularly the abolition of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) had turned violent.
“While ECOWAS Commission recognises the right of citizens to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly and protests, it also wishes to stress that those rights should be exercised in a non-violent manner.
“In this regard, ECOWAS Commission calls on all protesters to remain peaceful in the conduct of their demonstrations. It also urges the Nigerian security operatives to exercise restraint in the handling of the protests and act professionally.
“ECOWAS Commission further notes that, in an effort to address the demands of the protesting youths, the Federal Government of Nigeria took important decisions regarding disbandment of SARS, comprehensive police reforms and investigation of cases of police brutality. It encouraged the Nigerian authorities to conduct the investigation rapidly.
“Finally, the ECOWAS Commission appeals to the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Nigerian youths, and the civil society to urgently pursue dialogue for an early and amicable resolution of this social unrest. “And maintain the Nigerian image as a bastion of law and order,” the ECOWAS Commission said.
The ECOWAS Commission further expressed its condolences to the families and friends of those who had lost their lives during the protests and wished the injured a speedy recovery.