By Emma Amaize
PAN-Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, has criticized President Muhammadu Buhari for allegedly stirring trouble with his government’s failure to swiftly placate the merited anger of the youth and insensitively deploying military, police to attack and assault the peaceful #EndSARS protesters.
The South-South regional group in a statement by the national publicity secretary, Hon Ken Robinson, calling for a halt to wanton destruction of public and private property in states, asserted: “President Muhammadu Buhari should have quickly addressed the young people, with a fatherly countenance to assuage their justified anger; instead of the option of deploying the military, police and hired thugs to attack and assault the peaceful protesters, which, aggravated the situation.”
“Now, what do we have? Untold destruction of lives and property of innocent citizens. It is instructive to note that a good number of the country’s population is perturbed and angry with the way and manner affairs of state are being conducted, and therefore, governments at all levels must urgently ‘amend’ their approaches to governance and make the well being of citizens ‘utmost priority’.
“Otherwise, the present situations could implode into a national crisis, the outcome of which nobody can truly predict,” PANDEF warned.
It noted: “The stories of extortion, harassment, brutality and even extrajudicial killings by some officials of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) are not fabricated; they are true stories. The rogue former SARS officials are known, and their victims or families of victims are also known.”
“The #EndSARS protesters had genuine grievances and, constitutionally, and democratically right to express their frustrations in peaceful protests,” the group added.
Similarly, PANDEF expressed shock at the wanton destruction of public and private property perpetrated in some cities, mainly, across the southern part of the country, in the last four days, by misguided and unscrupulous individuals, saying: “We cannot comprehend the motives for this kind of carnage, it is senseless, horrible, and highly condemnable.”
“We appeal to those behind these actions to have a rethink, and stop any further destruction of property, immediately, in the interest of our common good.
PANDEF also finds it difficult to fathom the intent for the aloofness of the police and other security agents in most cases, while the barbaric acts are being perpetrated.
“PANDEF is further disturbed at the unfortunate situations whereby foodstuffs meant to be distributed to vulnerable citizens as COVID-19 palliatives, remain stocked in warehouses, and are now being discovered and looted in some states.
“The reasons put forward by officials of government on why the items were still kept in warehouses, while many Nigerians are languishing in hunger are untenable and ridiculous,” it said.