Founder of the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), a left of centre think-tank, Dr Sodzi Sodzi-Tettey, has said protests that erupted in Nigeria over police brutality must serve as a lesson and caution to governments to refrain from relegating issues that affect the masses to the background.
Speaking at the third Leadership Dialogue Series in Accra on October 26, that featured former President John Dramani Mahama, Dr Sodzi-Tettey said the CSJ will remain committed to championing issues that are in the supreme interest of Ghana.
“Current events in Nigeria, make it painfully clear that ignoring the real issues of the mass of the people is in the long run, an exercise in futility and can only lead to social unrest and even worse consequences,” he said.
Dr Sodzi-Tettey was referring to violent protests by tens of thousands of youth in Africa’s most populous country against police brutality.
The youth have been demanding the abolition of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), which has been accused of unlawful arrests, torture, and extrajudicial killings.
Violent escalation on October 20, 2020, in Lagos, which resulted in multiple deaths, further agitated protesters.
Speaking at the event, Dr. Sodzi-Tettey revealed that over the next few years, CSJ will, among others leverage research to provide evidence-based left of centre policy alternatives and assess the impact of government policies on poor and vulnerable communities.
CSJ will also hold all governments and public institutions accountable to the highest standards of good governance practices believing that bribery and corruption should not be tolerated in any form or shape, Dr Sodzi-Tettey said.
The Leadership Dialogue Series is the flagship programme of the CSJ and is aimed at tapping into the knowledge and expertise of leaders who have served in various national capacities.
The last event featured Mr. Mahama, who is also the presidential candidate of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the upcoming elections on December 7, 2020.