Controversial musician, Naira Marley, on Tuesday cancelled his planned protest against the extra-judicial killings and of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police.
He had on Monday night announced on Twitter that the protests would hold on Tuesday at Lekki and urged Nigerians to join him.
Swiftly, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare, as well as the Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Adamu, posted tweets, urging him to cancel the protest.
They also concerned an online town hall meeting for Nigerian youths to express their grievances against SARS and other units of the Nigeria Police.
Marley’s tweets read: “We won’t be protesting anymore because there’s a lot of changes being made right now. As a Marlian we will give them a week to see the changes and if there’s no changes we will start a mass protest. #togetherwecan
“The protest was a cry for change, Nigerian youths and citizens should feel safe. The government have promised to make changes. Whilst we anticipate their actions it’s important we stick together to sort the issues on ground, #EndSARSBrutality #EndPoliceBrutality”
The minister had earlier tweeted: “I urge you and other youth not to embark upon any protest. Your grievances are being addressed at the highest level of government. As the Minister in charge of youth I know this is an issue that must be tackled. Government is doing just that..”
But Marley countered him, saying: “Ekale Sir. We have heard this before. Four times. Why will this time be different? Do you really care about the youth? Many of us have been killed and they harass us everyday. What is the assurance this time? We need assurance.”
In response, the Nigeria Police said its spokesman, DCP Frank Mba, would convene the online meeting with Naira Marley.
“Today, Tuesday 6th October, 2020, by 11am, the Force PRO- DCP Frank Mba will be having a live instagram chat with Naira Marley to answer questions and discuss the concerns of young Nigerians on the issues of SARS operations and other burning issues. Please stay tuned.
The Leadership of the NPF will work with the Ministry of Youth and other stakeholders, including Youth leaders, youth entrepreneurs, CSOs and others in formulating and implementing consensual reforms.
The Orders and restrictions on the operations of SARS and others already issued by the IGP are just the initial steps out of the many reforms planned for the Tactical Squads.
The Force is irrevocably committed to changing these narratives and undertaking far-reaching reforms to reposition SARS and other Tactical Squads for better service delivery.
The Inspector General of Police wishes to inform Nigerian youths that their voices and complaints on the issues of unprofessional conducts by some SARS operatives have been heared very loudly and clearly.”