The ECOWAS Commission, has expressed concern over demonstrations by Nigerian youth calling for police reform, particularly the abolition of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria.
The ECOWAS Commission in a statement copied to the Ghana News Agency expressed its condolences to the families and friends of those who lost their lives during the protests and wished the injured a speedy recovery.
“While ECOWAS Commission recognizes 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,” it said.
“In this regard, ECOWAS Commission calls on all protesters to remain peaceful in the conduct of their demonstrations.”
The statement said the Commission also urged the Nigerian security operatives to exercise restraint in the handling of the protests and act professionally.
It said the ECOWAS Commission noted that, in an effort to address the demands of the protesting youth, 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, ECOWAS Commission appeals to the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Nigerian youth 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.”