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#EndSARS: FG awaits states’ panel, US states secretary preaches fairness

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the Federal Government of Nigeria awaits every states ‘ panel report of the EndSARS protest before taken any steps on the Lagos panel reports.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, disclosed Buhari’s position in a statement titled, ‘#EndSARS probe panel report: We wait for the states, President Buhari tells Blinken, American Secretary of State’.

Buhari stated, “So many state governments are involved and have given different terms of reference to the probe panels. We at the federal (level) have to wait for the steps taken by the states, and we have to allow the system to work.

“We can’t impose ideas on them. The Federal Government has to wait for the reaction of the states.”

The United States Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, has urged the Nigerian government to ensure accountability and address the grievances of victims of the police brutality and their families as well as the #EndSARS protests.

He said the US government was working closely with Nigeria to help the population most affected by conflict and violence in the country, particularly in the North-East, where his country is providing vital humanitarian aid to approximately 2.2 million internally displaced Nigerians.

Blinken said this on Thursday during a joint press briefing with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema, shortly after he visited the President, Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said, “We discussed the importance of a comprehensive approach that builds effective security forces, addresses the underlying drivers of extremism, and respects Nigerians’ basic human rights

“The United States is committed to helping Nigeria do that by continuing to invest in our security partnership, and the institutions that strengthen the rule of law, and that hold accountable those who commit human rights abuses, corruption and other acts that harm the Nigerian people.”

By tackling these issues, Blinken said the US could help to address some of the problems that had been key drivers of insecurity.

He also welcomed the conclusion of the investigation by the independent panel of inquiry set up by the Lagos State Government to look into the events that took place at the Lekki tollgate in October 2020, including killings and other alleged abuses by the security forces.

“We anticipate and look to the state and the Federal Government’s response to the findings, and expect those to include steps that ensure accountability and address the grievances of the victims and their families,” he stated.

Buhari had earlier told Blinken that his government would allow the system to exhaust itself by awaiting the pronouncements of state governments, which set up panels to probe alleged police brutality in the country.

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