By Dapo Akinrefon
The Executive Secretary of the Justice and Equity for Peace and Unity Initiative, JEPUIN, Mr. Tony Uranta, on Friday, warned those planning to engage in nationwide protests on June 12, Democracy Day to note that the consequences of street protests might be hijacked and have dire consequences.
Addressing newsmen in Lagos, Mr. Uranta advised protesters to engage in other forms of civil action that would be less prone to end in violence.
The JEPUIN scribe, who commended the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, for shelving their planned protest on June 12, also urged other youths and civil groups nationwide to jettison the idea of street protests, that could backfire into violence as past streets protests have evidenced.
He said: “JEPUIN is the premier collective of patriotic Nigerians who are determined to do all what is necessary to keep Nigeria united as a truly just and equitable democracy as foreseen by our Founding Fathers in the 1963 Republican Constitution, which was embraced by all Nigerians via a plebiscite.
“Recall that June 12, a significant landmark in the political history of Nigeria was declared as Nigeria’s Democracy Day by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2020.
“The declaration which came decades after agitations by Nigerians and Civil Society Groups that the day should be set aside to honour late Chief M.K.O Abiola, acclaimed winner of the June 12 1993 presidential election that was annulled by then military head of state, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (retd).
“Though the myriads of challenges in the country might seem overwhelming, they were not insurmountable, if all Nigerians would join forces: and, help encourage the Federal Government and security agencies to do the needful.
“The efforts of prominent Nigeria including leaders in the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) who were at the fore front for the fight to democracy would be undermined if youths for whom the fight was for would take to the streets to protest rather than reflect on the day.
“As a member of NADECO/NALINCON, I still have great hopes that the democracy we fought for has come to stay.
“Nigerian youths must begin to think beyond ethnic and religious lines on how to move the nation forward rather than being used by some disgruntled elements to unleash terror on the nation.”
He, however, urged parents, guardians, traditional rulers, leaders of thought and others to warn their wards, domains against joining in protests on the streets, as it could be detrimental to all.