By Dapo Akinrefon
The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum, Wednesday, tackled President Muhammadu Buhari over the clampdown on the EndSARS protesters, warning that the president cannot kill protesters with terror.
In a statement by Yinka Odumakin (South West), Chief Guy Ikokwu (South East), Senator Bassey Henshaw (South South) and Dr Isuwa Dogo (Middle Belt), the leaders also warned the Presidency that “Mafia means and state terror can’t give good outcome as we have gone past that stage.”
The statement reads:
“We did not miss the projection when we interpreted President Muhammadu Buhari’s regrets of his accepting the #ENDSARS demands quickly as being seen as a sign of weakness in his last broadcast as a declaration that he would bare his fangs and ruthlessly deal with the protesters after the unwarranted and wicked killings of some of them at Lekki Toll Gate and other places.
“In a clear demonstration that the people except those who fawn around him have forfeited the confidence of his government, we have not missed all the divisive and repressive steps the Federal Government has taken so far after the dust settled.
“Let us state clearly first that we are not in any way impressed by the belated and after thought measure of sending some Kaduna delegates like the Chief of Staff and the IGP round the non-Arewa sections of the country with a script to manipulate support for the ruthless killings of our young people and the barbaric desire to clamp down on social media as we have seen in the communiques of the safaris to the South East and South West. We see the denial by Oyo Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde that the South West did not canvass the clampdown on social media as a signal that the foot soldiers of the regime are deceiving themselves to colour the good points our people made at those sessions with the stinking propaganda of deluded colonial lords in Abuja.
“If we had a proper government, what should be happening now is proper healing and ensuring we do not have to go through that route again.
“But as if implementing the unreleased decisions of the sectional and divisive Kaduna meeting, we have seen the branding of the protesters with all kinds of odious propaganda the latest being the CBN Governor labeling them ‘terrorists’. He should have a proper definition of terrorism serving a government that was once accused of paying €3m to Boko Haram by WSJ and whose governors pose every now and then with bandits they are cuddling.
“We want to know when the CBN Governor’s brief added political affair to monetary issues.
We want to use Mr Emefiele as a point of contact to all those who lose their heads serving temporary power that it would end one day and they would be back to their roots.
“The various jail houses across the country are reportedly filled with detained ENDSARS protesters in a Gulag Archipelago style by the tyrannical use of state power that led to the crisis showing those who are the problem cannot bring solution.
“There have been reports of preventing leaders and supporters of the protest from traveling and alleged seizures of their traveling documents and freezing of their bank accounts without court process at a time the Attorney General of the Federation is asking UAE authorities to give him the records of trials of six Nigerian Boko Haram funders convicted in that country by the highest court so he can certify whether justice was done or not.
“We will be interested in knowing how money is wired to Boko Haram without the knowledge of our CBN.
We stand with all the innocent young Nigerians that the regime is persecuting without trial at this moment without flinching as our laws deem every accused person innocent until convicted by the law.
We are fully persuaded that the regime is sowing another seed that it would not be able to handle the harvest when the fruit comes as we demand the release of all the arrested or their being charged to court without delay.
“We also demand a halt of the inquisition going on as it is an ill-wind that can blow no good.
“What Nigeria needs now is genuine engagement and facilitating a healing process starting with the renegotiation of the union into a conducive one that can guarantee the happiness of the greatest majority. Mafia means and state terror can’t give good outcome as we have gone past that stage.”