#Endsars: How Nigerians Reacted To Osinbajo’s Statement To The Nation

Commend VP for taking responsibility as a leader Others call for immediate action on issues raised by protesters

Within a few hours after it was posted over 40,000 Nigerians liked the statement of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Twitter last night, where he tried to communicate with Nigerians on how the FG intends to win the trust of Nigerians again after the #ENDSARS saga.

The Vice President, on Friday night, via his official Twitter account, added that the Federal Government is continuously taking steps to address the issues arising from the #EndSARS protests sooner.

Following the nationwide #EndSARS protests, which has continued for over a week, the controversial Special Anti-Robbery Unit (SARS) was dissolved by the Inspector General of Police.

Osinbajo also condoled with the families of Jimoh Isiaq, and all those who have lost their lives at the hands of wayward police officers, while wishing a speedy recovery to the injured.

According to the VP, these feelings of frustration are justified as many Nigerians felt that the Federal Government had been too silent and have simply not done enough.

“I fully understand how many young people feel. There are far too many people who have been brutalised at the hands of the police and this is unacceptable. We must take responsibility for protecting young people, even sometimes from those who are paid to protect them.

As of Saturday morning, Osinbajo was trending in two spots on the top 10 Nigeria trends, while his Twitter thread had garnered about 36,000 likes and over 14,000 comments. His Facebook post also had generated thousands of likes.

Since the VP’s Tweets on Friday night, Nigerians have continued to react across social media platforms to the Vice President’s statement on his official Twitter handle. While some criticized the government, others saw his statement as one that showed empathy, leadership and commitment by the government of the day to decisively address the issues raised by the protesters, especially on ending SARS and police brutality.

Investigative journalist, ‘Fisayo Soyombo wrote on his verified Twitter handle, “I read VP Osinbajo’s latest tweets and I couldn’t help asking myself: “APC had Osinbajo but still gave us Buhari as President?” That’s nearly an unforgivable offence!”

While the Head of NPF Complaint Response Unit (CRU), ACP Markus Ishaku Basiran, replying to the VP’s Twitter thread, wrote, “Excellent tweets, Your Excellency Sir. The CRU of the police is ready for a discourse, just to lend a voice. Desperate situations like this, require breaking protocols. We, in the CRU, are pained as stakeholders. Can we be heard without running the risk of offending? God bless.”

On Facebook, Kate Nnaji wrote, “Apologies accepted. Now we need a fast tracking of the judicial panel you said should be set up in all the states and a quick interrogation and prosecution of these guilty officers. They need to leave the street and society.”
Another Nigerian, Chiamaka Uzoma, said, “My position on this issue as it stands now considering the VP’s apology and reassurance is that let’s PLEASE give them a SECOND CHANCE. Let’s Just hope they will fulfill all their promises this time, and let’s earmark the platform of such peaceful protest like we’ve had as our own tool for engaging the Government to meet our further and subsequent demands.”
Janet Adepegba commented thus: “Very good, taking responsibility is one attribute of a good leader. However, we personally need you sir to oversee what the government have put in place to bring an end to this, I believe in you and your capacity to deliver and blow the mind of the angry youths!”

Also commenting on the VP’s post, Sirable Austine wrote, “Sincerely speaking, you don’t need to like this man but something within you would admit he is unique on his duty post. His constitutional powers are limited but he’s making the maximal use of them with great humility #Respect”

Osinbajo’s Twitter thread also generated some positive comments, despite the deluge of anger from Nigerians on the government’s slow response to addressing the issues.
Kalu Onyedika stated that Osinbajo has commented severally on police brutality. “In fact, he was the first to invite the IGP for a meeting to resolve this issue when it all started,” he added.

David Enilolobo wrote, “Dear @ProfOsinbajo, thank you for reaching out to us although preferred earlier. Nigerian youths love & respect you as a father. After these tweets, pls consider visiting the key protest grounds in Abuja & Lagos. Address the youths, make commitments, visit the injured.” And the families of the victims. Tell us key actions taken with pieces of evidence, not mere words as previously done in the past. The youths are tired of the country we have become. We don’t want to relocate abroad, this is our country, our home. And we look on you our leaders.”

Another Nigerian, Adenekan Samson, stated that “It takes humility and responsibility for a leader to admit and also provide solutions. I’m overwhelmed by this act of yours and it has increased my faith in this administration.” While others called on the VP to monitor the implementation in all the 36 states and FCT for effective implementation, monitoring and evaluation.

The Vice President also stated that the National Economic Council (NEC), which he chairs has resolved to “to set up judicial panels of inquiry so we can see justice served, and fast.”
Osinbajo said the government will “continue to update and engage with you all on these action steps and the ones to come, in the spirit of transparency, so that you can hold us accountable. We are, after all, here to serve you and we owe you a duty to win back your trust.”

He said, “We have proposed that each state government set up a Victims’ Support Fund, which the Federal Government will support. This is the least that we can do to compensate for the injustice suffered at the hands of errant officers.

“…We’re undertaking comprehensive measures that will revamp the police by addressing issues of welfare, service conditions and training. On Monday, Mr President also reiterated his commitment to these extensive police reforms.”

“We understand that you want to see action from us and I’m here to tell you that work is ongoing. I chaired a meeting of 36 state governors and the Minister of the FCT (NEC), where we resolved to set up judicial panels of inquiry so we can see justice served, and fast.”

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