107 views | Emmanuel Anthony | October 22, 2020
Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to take quick actions on the unrest in different parts of the nation.
In a statement on Wednesday, the former Nigerian leader said Buhari “must act now before it is too late.”
“This time demands leadership and mature leadership as such”, he noted.
Obasanjo also appealed to the youths and End SARS protesters to give peace a chance.
Admitting that they have a right to make legitimate demands, the retired General enjoined them stay calm.
Obasanjo said his heart was heavy and that he was deeply concerned about the ongoing situation stressing that the country was at a critical moment.
The Owu-born elder statesman advised Buhari to restrain the military and other security agencies from using brute force.
“The shooting and murder of unarmed protesters, no matter the level of provocation, has never been effective in suppressing public anger and frustration.
“Instead, such actions only reinforces the anger and frustration of the populace and closes the window of dialogue and peaceful resolution.
“It is clear that Mr. President and his lieutenants did exhaust the opportunities for dialogue with the protesters before resorting to use of force.
“It is worse that there is denial of wrongdoing despite overwhelming visual evidence. Great harm has been done but it can be stopped before it completely spirals out of control”, Obasanjo wrote.
Similarly, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye, has condemned the Nigerian military and the police for their actions against End SARS protesters.
In a statement on Wednesday, the cleric said offensives by security agencies had worsened the situation.
Adeboye also appealed to the youths to stay calm and avoid any act that would make them more exposed to brutality.
He wondered why the police was yet to arrest attackers of peaceful protesters across Nigeria.
“I condemn in the strongest possible terms, attacks launched by the Nigerian military on unarmed young people, who have been peacefully protesting police brutality over the last 12 days as #EndSARS protests.
“I am confounded that prior to the sad events at the #LekkiTollGate, the Nigeria Police failed to arrest the weapon-bearing hoodlums who were attacking the well-organized and non-violent #EndSARS protesters.
“The condemnable actions of the military risks driving the agitations of the young people underground, thereby making the situation unmanageable.
“I call on the Federal Government to thoroughly investigate the tragic events at Lekki and other parts of the country, give justice to all victims even as it engages the #EndSARS protesters to reach a common agreement to end police brutality.
“I am also appealing to the Youths to allow peace reign & stop any form of action that would give the military any other form of excuse to attack”, the cleric wrote.
Adeboye prayed that the peace of God would come upon Nigeria at this period.
Also, the European Union (EU) has expressed concern over the situation in Nigeria.
Many citizens have been killed or injured since the End SARS protests went awry as demonstrations for an end to Police brutality have snowballed into a national crisis.
In a statement on Wednesday, EU Vice President Josep Borrell demanded the prosecution of all persons responsible for deaths and assaults.
“It is alarming to learn that several people have been killed and injured during the ongoing protests against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Nigeria.
Real reasons for the protests
As reactions continue to trail End SARS protests with serious casualties, a non-governmental organization, Peoples Life Improvement Foundation (PLIF) has identified fraudulent electoral system and failure of government as responsible for grievances.
The Foundation insisted that the demands being pushed by the protesters were legitimate, saying that it would be unfair to pay deaf ears, but there was a need for President Buhari and the leadership of the National Assembly to pay attention to the issues being raised by the protesters in the country.
The group in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Ngoama Waekite Wemi said the group stands with the End SARS campaign, noting that the slogan for the protest resonates with Nigerians who recall various injustices in public dealing between government institutions and the citizens.
The group maintained that the only way out was for a total reform of the system, but critical is the electoral reform upon which electoral Transparency builds confidence and drives accountability from the political leaders to the people.
The statement reads in part: ‘We have summed up the totality of prolonged bad governance in Nigeria which has ruined the country and has come to the conclusion that our electoral system is the sole reason why the country is in this miserable and undone state.
“Thus, resulting in the Pandemic Suffering and frustration of the youths, adults, educated and uneducated. These and many other social problems triggered the contemporary protest!
“The youths are demanding for a political reform that will give all Nigerians equal opportunities, a political structure where the rights of all individuals will be protected and respected.
“Mr President, and the leadership of the National Assembly, Nigerians are like dutiful children who have received unmerited blows from a supposed beloved parent.
“Mr President, this is the time to leave a legacy of a listening government and write your name in the sand of time.”
It would be recalled that the Senate had in its resolution called on the President to listen to the call of the protesters and address the nation to quell the End SARS protest.
Former Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose has condemned the killing of youths at Lekki tollgate in Lagos State.
Fayose in a series of tweets on Wednesday expressed sadness and worry over the current situation in the country.
He said the cause of the chaotic situation in the country is because Nigerians voted an incompetent man to ascend to the highest office in the land.
He maintained that President Muhammadu Buhari cares about no one, that he is yet to address the country.
“My heart is heavy. Like every other concerned Nigerians, I’m worried. I’m sad that soldiers were sent to shoot at our youths, who were only expressing their anger against the system. I sympathize with families of the deaths and pray that God will heal the injured.
“However, the sad reality we must face now is that the current situation in our nation is a result of allowing a clearly incompetent man to ascend to the highest office in the land. I saw all these coming and I warned Nigerians. You can’t wear a white robe on a pig.
“Life does not matter to a clueless leader whose only fulfilment is that he is called Mr President. He cares about no one except himself. That’s why up till now, the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria have not said a word. Sad!”
The United Kingdom Parliament has commenced deliberations on petitions seeking to sanction the federal government for human rights abuses over the End SARS protests.
The United Kingdom Parliament had confirmed it will consider a petition sent to it concerning human rights abuses.
The petition which is on the UK government and parliament website accused the Nigerian government and police of violating the rights of those protesting against police brutality and extortion.
Following the development, Stephen Doughty member of the parliament in a post via his Twitter account on Wednesday said the issue of the killings has been raised and deliberations have begun.
“I raised the shocking killings of End Sars protestors in Lekki toll gate, Lagos Nigeria this morning in the House of Commons with Minister Nigel Adams.
“I am horrified by the reports I am receiving. UK Government must urgently raise at the highest levels with Nigeria,” he said.
Buhari is not the problem – Mbaka
Rev. Father Ejike Mbaka of the Adoration Ministry, Enugu, has backed the ongoing End SARS protests across the country.
The cleric, however, absolved the president of the total blame, insisting that the problem of Nigeria and youth negligence started from past administrations.
Mbaka, who was addressing his congregants in a viral video, noted that he has been calling on the Nigerian youth to rise up and challenge the bad system.
He said, “Many people are asking why is Father Mbaka silent in the midst of this #EndSARS [protests]? Do you know when I started crying that our youths should rise up?
“Is not yet time to speak, but if you people enjoy the situation you are in right now, then let it be.
“All I’m trying to say is that the condition of our youths in this country is unbearable. The conditions are intolerable.
“Not just in this Buhari administration but past administrations. A country where a sitting Senator will be sweeping millions upon millions every month. It has been like this, not Buhari.
“No plans for our children…is there any money allocated to any Christian governor that Buhari seized? The system is evil. The youths should rise up the more if not you will talk and talk, age and die away. I’m ashamed of our leaders.”