Calls for institutional reforms, inclusive governance
By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
The Oil and Solid Minerals Producing Areas Landlord Association of Nigeria, OMPALAN, Wednesday, condemned hijack of peaceful EndSARS protest by hoodlums and politicians.
The condemnation was made in a statement signed by the Chairman, Board of Trustees, BoT, OMPALAN, Bishop Udo Azogu, Secretary, BoT, OMPALAN, Professor Eyo Etim, and, Chairman of Imo State Chapter, OMPALAN, Chief Chibunna Ubawuike.
According to the association, it is part of demands made by youths of EnSARS protest to have a better life being assets of the country.
The association in the statement also acknowledged that the nation’s infrastructures are in a state of decay as a result of widespread corruption across the country at every level of governance.
The statement reads in part, “The BoT of OMPALAN has met on the nation-wide protests over recurring incidents of police brutality in Nigeria code-named #ENDSARS.
“The association has resolved as follows: OMPALAN admits that the nation’s infrastructural decay has been accentuated by widespread corruption across the polity. The demands of the protesting youths are genuine.
“OMPALAN is disturbed that the good intentions of the protesting youths are gradually being hijacked by aggrieved politicians who are now calling for regime change. This is not acceptable. Those opting for regime change should be patient and use the ballot box in the forthcoming 2023 general elections to actualize their demands.”
The statement also demanded that there should be reforms in all government institutions in order to strengthen the machinery of governance for effective service delivery and democratic dividends to all Nigerians
“The association calls on State Governors to support democratic structures such as state houses of assembly, state judiciary and elected Local Government administrations to enjoy full financial and administrative autonomy in order to enable these institutions of governance to contribute to the democratic process to strengthen corporate governance in Nigeria.
“We call on the Federal Government to carry out sweeping institutional reforms in all facets of the economy to enable inclusive governance based on equity and justice”, it added.
However, the association appealed to EndSARS protesters, to allow the government to attend and address their demands, and they should also stop the protests in order whereby hoodlums would not infiltrate under the guise of the protest to unleash mayhem on innocent Nigerians.
“OMPALAN calls for an immediate cessation of the nation-wide demonstrations in view of the Government’s endorsement of the initial 5-point demand by the protesters. This will enable the Government to fully deploy its machinery to attend to the demands of the protesting youths without distractions.
“It will also close the door to miscreants desiring to use the occasion to cause a breach of constitutional peace and order as is being witnessed across the country.
“We call on the teeming members and supporters of our great organization, OMPALAN across Nigeria to remain peaceful and law-abiding”, it concludes.