President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, pleaded with Nigerians for peace and brotherliness in the face of the raging violence that has engulfed parts of the country following the ongoing #EndSARS protest which has, so far, been hijacked by hoodlums. He said the development does not speak well for the country whose citizens are supposed to be living as brothers and sisters.
Speaking through his Media Assistant, Mallam Shehu Garba, the president particularly, noted that the shooting incidence of last week, in Lekki, Lagos does not speak well of the country.
He noted that he had avoided going into a debate about the incident until all the facts are established, assuring Nigerians that the victims of the protests would surely get justice.
He commended the decision of the Lagos State Ministry of Justice to prosecute 229 suspects arrested for allegedly using the protests to destroy and loot public and private property.
Buhari condemned hate messages and eviction notices to ethnic and religious groups, urging Nigerians to take solace in the fact that the country’s diverse people have been living with one another in harmony for ages, and cannot suddenly turn to enemies of one another.
He breathed down heavily on the attacks and organised looting and plundering of public and private property in many states, noting they are inimical to public good.
The president, who described the actions as criminal, added that it could weaken and erode the confidence of the people and work against foreign business investments in the economy, warning that his government will not fold its arms when an otherwise legitimate and peaceful protest is being turned into a free-for-all vandalism and looting.
He further stressed: “A government that has launched a massive crackdown on corruption, brought in strong laws for a decisive battle against corruption, pursues loot recovery at home and abroad, and taken strong decisions against those who thought they were above the law, will not fold its arms when an otherwise legitimate and peaceful protest is turning into free-for-all vandalism and looting.
“While the administration has, for its part, blocked so many means of looting public money in a war against corruption, it is the expectation that all civil authorities, community and religious leaders in the country must rise against the organised looting and plunder we are witnessing in parts of the country. Families must turn back children who bring home unaccounted goods; in the same way, wives must ask their husbands to return looted items brought home.”
He warned further that looting and vandalism will hurt trade and investment growth in the country, both large and small industries, as well as our hardworking people in the informal sectors of the economy.
- Tags: President Muhammadu Buhari, #EndSARS