Gani Adams, the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland has reacted to the announcement by the Nigerian Army of plans to kick off ‘Operation Crocodile Smile’ across the 36 states of the country.
In an open letter to the President on Sunday, Adams warned Muhammadu Buhari against the use of military force against protesters who are calling for the scrapping of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS.
According to Adams in the letter, instead of deploying soldiers against peaceful protesters, the President should listen to the people to not only reform, but transform the police.
He also reminded the government that using military force to quell protests by civilians had already been declared illegal by a Federal High Court in July 2020.
It is wrong to give the impression that Nigeria is at war with its citizens. We must do everything to promote and defend democratic culture.
“I condemn violence in all forms. I strongly condemn the actions of some security operatives that murdered the protesters.
“The list available to me shows 20 people have been killed across the country. I also condemn in the most profound manner the killing of any protester or the killing of any security official associated with the protests”.
“I saw clips of the attack on the convoy of the Governor of Osun State, His Excellency, Gboyega Oyetola. This is distasteful. In the same way I condemn the violent attacks on the convoy of the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi. It’s unfortunate that the incidence in Osun led to avoidable deaths.
“The police should not just be reformed, it should be transformed. This is the time for you to work with the National Assembly to establish State and community policing system in line with the fundamental principles of federalism. You have a golden opportunity to do this. Go ahead and take the bull by the horn and save Nigeria from the potential of horrendous evil of a garrison state,” he stated.