By Harris Emanuel
Former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attah expressed dismay that the Panel report of a presidential panel on SARS reforms set up in 2018 by the federal government which recommended the sacking of 37 police officers, and the prosecution of 24 others were not implemented.
‘’The panel further tasked the Inspector General of Police (1GP) to unravel the identity of 22 other officers involved in the violation of human rights of innocent citizens. To the best of my knowledge no effect has been given to the panel’s report’’, he said, adding,
During the COVID-19 lockdown, the atrocities increased; voices of protests got strident, but the authorities turned a deaf ear and the impunities multiplied. ”
The former governor who spoke in Uyo at the weekend, while briefing newsmen, said the time to act was now, as the nation cannot afford another round of mass protest as such would spell ‘’the beginning of an end’’, and called on the federal government to adopt an institutionalized method to constructively engage the youth.
He advised the youth to eschew bitterness and to show further commitment to the peace process by halting all further protests so they will not be accused of participating in the destruction of their own future.
He said, ‘’there is no doubt that their primary purpose of EndSARS has been realized though at a heavy price. The healing process must now begin. Today we apologize to the youths and so we should; but is that sufficient succour? They need assurances that the future will be better but can it, if we continue as we are?
‘’Their voices were raised shouting for change, for true federalism, resource control, diversification, a new Constitution for Nigeria. Chile, which had also inherited a Military Constitution has just changed it through a referendum. Why not Nigeria!
‘’Today, from every part of this country, the South-South, West, East, Middle Belt, North and indeed the Far North, more voices have now risen and combined into a thunderous national crescendo calling for a rebirth.
‘’ In every part of this country today, the urgent and compelling need for such a change has been acknowledged and endorsed. My plea, my passionate plea to the government is to please do something now before it is too late.
‘’Let us not wait for people to come out on the streets to press their demand for change. God forbid, if that should happen, there would be no holding back. It would spell the beginning of an end. This is not a threat or blackmail but a prediction borne out of sound reasoning and the lessons of history.’’