Youths and Students Advocates for Development (YSAD) has said that the current extortion by police and other security agents is the fault of President Muhammadu Buhari.
YSAD explained that Buhari’s wrong understanding that the #ENDSARS protest was a ploy to topple his government has emboldened the security agents to further abuse the rights of Nigerians.
The NGO said that it is unfortunate that rather than address the concerns raised by citizens, those in power politicized the genuine protest of oppressed citizens, a situation that has ensured that the bad experiences got worst one year after the protest.
Obinna Nwagbara, the Chief Executive of YSAD said that it is a shame that despite a few tokenize gestures by those in charge at Aso Rock, the very things Nigerians sacrificed their lives for remain very much with us today.
He said that it is unfortunate that the Police, Army, Customs, Federal Road Safety Commission, and all manner of law enforcement officials are still on the roads extorting motorists, killing those who fail to pay and getting away with all of those.
The YSAD boss said that it is a shame that not one person has been publicly sanctioned for extorting motorists by the authorities in recent times, adding that the number of checkpoints has continued to multiply with each station an extortion point.
He said, “people are still hounded and thrown into detention facilities for no established crimes and families asked to pay humongous sums in undocumented expenditure to secure the release of their loved ones.
“It is a shame that these are happening under a regime that promised to change Nigeria. While the events of the last one year offer little hope of a bright future for Nigeria, it is fulfilling that those of us at YSAD have leveraged the sequence of events that attended the #ENDSARS protests to launch an official campaign against extortion of motorists by law enforcement officials on our roads.
“With support from VOICE, YSAD is actively engaging stakeholders in the public and private sector to collectively fight the mess of extortion and lawlessness by law enforcement officials.”
Nwagbara added that the #ENDSARS protest exposed the greed, the crass insensitivity of the political class who promised change but delivered hell to the people.
“It was an eye-opening moment for Nigerians and all interested in its affairs. The country is ruled by an amalgam of wicked men and women”.
“The evil intent and hypocrisy of the men in authority became very clear when security agents attacked the protesters who had camped night and day at the Lekki toll gate and termed protesters terrorists.”
Nwagbara said that the group’s campaign “No Dey Give: Follow Traffic Rules” has adopted a multi-stakeholder approach to fighting extortion, coupled with, meetings and advocacy visits to get everyone to realize the danger that extortion of motorists presents for everybody.
He said that YSAD shall continue to do its best and hope that by the second anniversary of the #ENDSARS campaign, it will be reporting measurable achievements regarding its ongoing initiative to restore order and sanity on Nigerian roads.
Nwagbara charged Nigerians never to relent or give up, as YSAD must continue to demand that it is illegal for law enforcement agents paid by the taxpayers to turn their uniforms and guns into instruments of war and harassment.