The Nigerian police appear to have started an online campaign to redeem their image and rebuild trust with Nigerian citizens, following the nationwide #EndSARS protests and its devastating fallout.
The police, Monday night, uploaded a campaign flyer on Twitter, via their official handle @PoliceNG.
“We are not a collection of angels, but we are doing our best to serve you better,” said the flyer which was produced by the police public relations department, Force Headquarters, Abuja.
The #EndSARS protest, which began over two weeks ago, was calling for an end to police brutality in the country, among other policing reforms.
The protests, which were mainly peaceful across Nigeria, were violently disrupted by security officials and thugs.
Since then, hoodlums have taken over various cities, vandalising and looting public and private facilities, while citizens and ad especially security agencies have appeared helpless.
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Several police stations have been burnt down and many officers killed by hoodlums.
In Rivers State, for instance, the police commissioner in the state, Joseph Mukan, said three police officers in the state were savagely killed and their corpses burnt to ashes by people suspected to be members of the pro-Biafra group, Indigenous People of Biafra.
Many hoodlums, as well as innocent citizens, have also lost their lives in the violence.
In Delta State, some police officers were seen in a video threatening to kill in order to defend themselves.
“Stop (the) killing of police (officers). Enough is enough. Stop burning police stations,” one of the officers said in the video.
“They have killed our people enough, the police are human beings. We are tired. We are ready to (go to) any length. We will kill…,” the officer added.
Inibehe Effiong, a human rights lawyer in Lagos, told PREMIUM TIMES that “trust deficit” was the main reason the #EndSARS protesters were adamant about their protest, despite the scrapping of the notorious police unit, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) by the Nigerian government.
Mr Effiong said the citizens do not trust the Nigerian authorities.
“We are not a collection of play toys, so ur men should stop killing us!” One Twitter user, @Iruobe9, said in response to the police Twitter post.
“Please come back when you’ve arrested and tried the officers caught on tape for, and credibly accused of, extrajudicial violence,” another Twitter user, @kolatubosun, responded to the police.