The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) on Tuesday expressed dismay over the continued silence of President Muhammadu Buhari in the midst of the raging storm generated by the ongoing nationwide #EndSARS protests.
In a statement titled “The #EndSARS Protests: Speak Now, Mr President” an signed by its National Secretary, Shuaibu Usman Leman and released to the media in Abuja, the NUJ also demanded the immediate and unconditional release of Comrade Tom Oga Uhia, Publisher of Power Steering Magazine by the police.
The union stated that the publisher has been detained since last week on the orders of Minister of State for Power, Godwin Jeddy Agba, for allegedly defaming him.
“Since the Police are unable to take him to court all this while, his continued detention further exposes the decay and impunity in the Police,” Leman said in the statement.
On the ongoing protest by Nigerians, mainly the youth who are protesting against Police brutality that had characterised the operations of the dreaded Special Anti-Rubbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police, the union insisted that time had come for the president to speak to the people as that would to a large extent possibly assuage their feelings.
The NUJ lamented that the disbanded SARS was legendary in its abuse of human rights.
“Although the Inspector General of Police quickly disbanded SARS and substituted it with the Special Weapons Attack Team (SWAT), the protesters were not impressed. To them, the haste with which SWAT was set up was a gimmick to thwart the agitation for the complete reform of the police.
“We equally call on the Inspector General of Police to immediately end all acts of impunity against Journalists. Specifically we call for the unconditional release of Tom Oga Uhia, Publisher of Power Steering Magazine. Tom Oga has been detained since last week on the orders of Minister of State for Power, Godwin Jeddy Agba, for allegedly defaming him. Since the Police are unable to take him to court all this while, his continued detention further exposes the decay and impunity in the Police.
“We agree that the proper measures in addressing the grievances of the protesters have not been taken and we suggest that the President and Commander-in-Chief, Muhammadu Buhari should come out and address Nigerians with a clear strategy on how to tackle these grievances.
“Certainly, Mr President has not lost his voice? Nigerians are waiting as the nation sits on a time bomb,” the statement noted.