A Non-Governmental Organisation, the Forum for Nation Builders and Social Development has ascribed the eruption of the #EndSARS protests and the aftermath violence to the continuous failure of governance in Nigeria.
According to the group in a press statement made available to newsmen in Osogbo yesterday, governments at all levels in Nigeria have always been nonchalant to issues agitating the minds of the citizens.
The group maintained that the violence that erupted as a result of the #EndSARS protests would have been averted had the government been proactive and responsive to the issues of police brutality and misconducts which had become recurrent issues.
FNBS in the statement signed by the Convener, Mr Ayo Odeyemi and two elders of the group, Alhaji Lateef Bakare and Chief Abiola Oloke, stated government must be responsive to the yearnings of the citizenry.
The statement reads in part: The continuous failure of Governance; which has led to the exclusion of a large proportion of the citizenry from access to basic services such as quality education, healthcare, stable electricity, portable water, etc; is unsustainable and must be redressed without further delay by instituting strong changes within our political and governance systems towards ensuring that only competent, capable service-oriented people of character get into leadership and the civil service is restructured to deliver.
“Government must be responsive to the yearnings of the citizenry. We missed the opportunity to have responded promptly and prevent the street protests by doing very little to address the reported cases of SARS abuses and extrajudicial killings even with the commencement of the online #EndSARS protests in 2017.Theand Government could have responded more decisively and proactively to the protesters’ demand once the street protests started.
“Government must create the right environment for business and investment to flourish as this is the only sustainable way to create employment for and positively engage our teeming youths as a way of utilising their creative youthful vigour and keep them out of mischief;
“Protests, especially large-scale protests like the #EndSARS protest, must have clear goals, milestones and an endgame to avoid long drawn out street engagements that could snowball into the uncontrolled riots and violence.
“We condole with all the families that have lost loved ones in the cause of the protests or the later violence that followed the protest. We also sympathise with other victims who were either wounded or lost s valuable properties to the hoodlums and anarchists.
“The government, on its part, should use this opportunity to proactively embark on a wholesale review of the National Security Achitecture, condition of service of our uniformed services, especially the Nigeria Police, and bridge the gap in manning and training of the personnel of the Nigeria Police.
“We urge Nigerians to be conscious of the presence of military personnel on the streets, just as we sound a note of warning to the youths not to directly or indirectly provide cover for hoodlums and anarchists to carry out their despicable acts.
“We call for the arrest and prosecution of everybody that participated in the looting and destruction of public and private properties.
“We encourage Nigerians with evidence (especially video evidence) that would be useful both in the successful prosecution of erring SARS/Police officers and also in the tracking and prosecution of the hoodlums/looters that caused mayhem to come forward with such to help the cause of justice.”
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