By Adesina Wahab
The Chairman/CEO of Tony Amechi Foindation, TOF, Chief Tony Amechi, has condemned in strong terms the shooting of unarmed #EndSARS protesters at Lekki Tollgate, Lagos onTuesday night, saying the act was unnecessary and avoidable.
Amechi, in a statement on Wednesday a copy of which was made available to our correspondent, condemned in strong terms the actions of those behind the shooting of innocent Nigerian youths agitating for their constitutional rights.
He described the development as ugly and unwarranted and a “misplaced priority.”
Amechi, who is the Onwa 1, Onotu of Umusadege, Utagba Uno Kingdom, Delta State, also condemned the destruction of properties across the country, and attacks on security structures and institutions by alleged protesters, saying those actions were avoidable and if allowed to continue could be counter productive.
“Youths of this nation have constitutional rights to stage a protest against anything that is not favourable to them because they are the future leaders of our great nation, but this must be done in an orderly manner devoid of violence and destruction of lives and properties.
“The youths constitute over 100 million of the Nigerian population and should be allowed to enjoy their fundamental rights as well as good governance. Therefore, if we must deepen democracy in Nigeria, the plights of the youths must be taken into consideration by governments at all levels,” Chief Amechi stated.
According to him, the killing and shooting of innocent Nigerian citizens, destruction of lives and properties should stop forthwith adding; “We are already in a complex situation in Nigeria, and no authority or whosoever should worsen it by giving orders to security personnel to shoot at innocent people engaging in a peaceful protest and at the same time, protesters must conduct themselves in an orderly manner. This dastardly act is highly condemnable!”
He further stressed: “consequent upon this, I wish to call on His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari and the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo Olu and all other state executives whose states are under attack to as a matter of urgency, set up special commission of enquiry, probe those behind the killings and mayhem, bring the perpetrators to book and pay adequate compensations to the bereaved families and the victims of all attacks”.
He said youths must eschew actions capable of causing a breach of law and order while they carry out their peaceful protests.
Chief Amechi stressed further that the protesting youths should begin to see beyond the demonstrations and imbibe peace to enable them engage the authority to achieve a lasting solution.
“I am immensely proud of the good Nigerian youths. They should not derail from the original purpose of the protests nor allow some elements to hijack their agitations for selfish gains or to satisfy their paymasters.
They should remain peaceful and not engage in the destruction of public institutions, properties or any act capable of putting the lives of other citizens at risks. They should stand up for their rights and go about actualizing it, peacefully,” he said.
Additionally, he said, “the government should as a matter urgency do whatever it takes to ensure that actions are being taken to address the concerns and demands of these youths, as democracy is all about dialogue; give and take.
“Ideals and goals cannot be achieved under a climate of instability no matter whether such instability is accidental or deliberately designed therefore government must act as a matter of urgency address these genuine demands by our vibrant and resilient youths.”