Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has commended the actions taken so far by the Federal Government in response to nationwide protests against the operations of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit of the Nigeria Police Force, leading to the disbandment of the unit earlier inhe week.
IPAC said that it is in support of the protesters, stressing that SARS outlived its usefulness when its operatives became oppressors and killers of innocent citizens particularly youths.
IPAC National Chairman Dr Leonard Nzenwa told journalists in Abuja on Thursday that ‘no nation folds its hands and watch the gruesome killing of its people by law enforcement agents who are paid and sustained by tax payer’s funds. Therefore, the anger in the land over the excesses of SARS operations is justified.
‘We are, however, concerned that after the government has acceded to the wishes of the people by disbanding SARs, committing to reform the police, the protesters have failed to return home and go about their businesses.
‘Some protesters called for an end to police brutality, others called for an end to oppression of the people, for restructuring of Nigeria, while some are demanding that Buhari must go. It’s worrisome that some protesters even attacked police stations, some were violent while police officers opened fire on some of them.
‘So far, some policemen and civilians have been killed and many others wounded in these avoidable fracas that has seen protesters block major roads across the country, preventing innocent citizens and school children from accessing the roads thus creating a climate of fear and public disorder.’
IPAC insisted that they support the right of Nigerians to peacefully protest, encouraging orderly protests.
‘It’s inappropriate, unfair and unjust to disrupt public peace indefinitely. It is a recipe for anarchy, more so, when the objective of the protest has been achieved,’ the IPAC said.
The Council called for an end to the nationwide protests so that it won’t be hijacked by hoodlums and enemies of the country.
‘Nigeria belongs to all Nigerians. Nobody should be prevented or hindered from carrying out his or her lawful business due to elongated protests. Attacking pubic facilities, blocking airports and major roads and stopping innocent citizens to go about their business is no more protest.
‘Besides, the economy is in recession, damaged and crumbling following the COVID-19 pandemic global lockdown. Therefore, all hands must be on deck to revamp the economy and move the nation forward as the nation’s economy is private sector-driven,’ Nzenwa said.