As the race for the 2023 presidential elections hots up, a group endorsing of the Vice -President Yemi Osinbajo’s said the EndSARS uprising would not have happened if Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo’s handling of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) was not derailed.
The group, known as IdentifytheRightLeader, recently published a 120-page impact assessment report on the vice-president, detailing his activities as former acting president of Nigeria and former attorney general of Lagos state.
According to the group in the report stated that the EndSARS protests which swept through the nation in October 2020 would not have happened if Osinbajo’s plan to overhaul SARS did not die down when President Buhari returned to the country.
“The EndSars uprising would not have seen the light of the day if issues concerning human rights abuses from the SARS (Special Anti-Robbery Squad) unit of the Nigerian Police Force had not been handled with kids’ gloves,” the group said.
“In October 2018, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, as Acting President, had ordered the overhaul of the controversial police unit following allegations of human rights violations, as he had directed then Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to review the operations of the SARS.
“However, the clamour died down when the substantive President, Muhammadu Buhari, re-assumed duties after a temporary absence. The SARS unit continued with their highhandedness and human rights violations as a result of this seeming dissonance in bureaucracy, which for some Nigerians represented a lack of empathy for the Nigerian populace.”
OSINBAJO’S AMBITION NOT PERSONAL
Group: Osinbajo running for common good
The group said Osinbajo was one Nigerian leader who in the darkest days of the protest “apologized to Nigerians, saying, ‘We are sorry’”.
They added that Osinbajo’s stance “could have averted the bloodbath that occurred on the 20th of October 2020” if adopted by “our political elites”.
“Nigeria’s Vice President, matched words with action when he absorbed the EndSars uprising as an economic issue to be addressed under the National Economic Council (NEC), which he chairs,” the report added.
Osinbajo-led NEC “mobilized the Governors of all 36 States and the FCT to set up judicial panels to address human rights abuses that were perpetuated against Nigerians and ensure justice for all victims of the dissolved SARS and other police units”.
“One thing is clear: throughout his public service career, Prof Osinbajo has sought to identify current and impending problems in society and propose solutions to them by way of public policy.
“In spite of having to navigate through the labyrinth of politics and government, Osinbajo has always made the impact of his proposed policies his focal point.
“Throughout his public service life, whether as a lecturer, attorney general, vice president, or acting president, Prof. Osinbajo has demonstrated uncommon virtues, morals, and dedication to the Nigerian State.
“His ambitions are not personal, rather they are for the common good.”
The report went on to chronicle Osinbajo’s years in public service and what it [the group] considered to be the achievements of the professor of law.
The vice-president is yet to formally declare his interest in the office of the president.