…Says Protest Already Hijacked
Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has called on Nigeria youths to sheath their swords in the wake of the national outcry of ENDSARS protest, said the war was already won.
The governor in a state broadcast on Tuesday said the youths should keep hope alive with president Buhari to March his words with action in the total overhauling and reforming of the security system.
Bello who had last weekend expressed his desire for the #Endsars protest said it was in the best interest of the protesters to now bring their agitation to an end.
According to Bello, “I was in support of the protest as the face of the Nigerian Youth, but the events of Monday through Tuesday had shown that people with sinister intentions have infiltrated the genuinely aggrieved people, making its essence to lose luster.”
He assured the youths that unlike in the past, the Speciall Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigerian Police has been disbanded nationwide, debunking suspicion that the pronounced disbandment was yet another smokescreen as has been the practice.
Bello admitted that SARS had caused so much pains to average Nigerians in the past, which has caused the image of the police to be battered as a result of the unsavoury behaviour of the few, necessitating the need for total and urgent overhaul.
“I and others who believe in this cause are therefore pained by this violent escalation witnessed in several parts of the country on Monday. We are now concerned that what has been a general citizens’ peaceful protest is now threatening to dissolve into mindless attacks on government facilities and running battles with the police.
“From what we have seen, the ranks of the new protesters have been infiltrated by criminal elements armed with dangerous weapons acting in pursuit of nefarious intents.
“I hold the opinion that you have won a battle, and I must now urge you not to lose the war. Protesters have a tangible and moral victory in the bag, and it is wisdom to safeguard it. It is now time to step back and explore other forms of dissent which will not provide crowd cover for persons and agenda which you obviously do not endorse. The nation’s Leadership must also be accorded some time and breathing space to push through on promises of change.
“I also urge the highest levels of professionalism and patience on our officers at this period. In the absence of clear and present threat to lives, there is almost no circumstance under which it is right to engage protesting citizens with extreme prejudice. It is neither morally justifiable nor an acceptable function of the policing duty.
“To all and sundry, I urge that the events of yesterday must not be allowed to continue. It is time to let good sense and dialogue prevail all around.
“Please be assured of my continued support, as well as my willingness to remain an Ombudsman toward a peaceful and law-abiding resolution to matters arising in this regard,” he concluded.