Some youth representatives appointed to serve on the panel set up by the Anambra State Government to investigate alleged police brutality on civilians by members of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, have tendered their resignation letter to the Anambra State Governor, Dr Willie Obiano, citing unseriousness on the part of government, reports Jude Atupulazi.
Addressing journalists last Sunday at Geogold Hotel, Awka, the youth representatives led by Ifediora Chijioke, a lawyer said their resignation was occasioned by the lack of logistics support to the panel by the government.
He said, ‘Following the EndSARS protests that occurred in many states in Nigeria in the last quarter of 2020, we felt that perhaps the Anambra State Government may have become penitent and was willing to competently take up its duty of securing the life and property of its residents.
‘We were even impressed with the government promptly constituted the panel, to investigate cases of police brutality and recommend compensation to victims, among other points in its terms of reference,’ Ifediora said.
He however expressed regret that the panel’s sittings were characterized by inefficiency and poor organization and blamed the Anambra State Government for failing woefully to provide for logistics for the panel’s proceedings.
They said the panel that had no fewer than 250 petitions before it had not received any serious funding from the state government.
‘There was no funding to enhance clerical or secretarial functions of the panel, no provision for security or witness protection.
‘We are, however, now convinced beyond peradventure that the Anambra State Government has no regard for the victims of the many human rights violations by the police in the state. The government has totally ignored the panel and simply set up the panel to play to the gallery,’ he said.
Ifediora said they would not want to be used as pawns in the game of the government in order not to be perceived by the public as having betrayed them.
‘So we hereby resign our appointments into the Anambra State panel and completely dissociate ourselves from all the charade put up to give lip service to the plights of residents of Anambra State,’ Ifediora said, pointing out that as youths who had a future to protect, they would not want to continue to belong to ‘a lame duck panel’.
They are however giving the government two weeks to do the needful or face a mass protest.