Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has advised the former President Muhammadu Buhari to restrain the military and other security agencies from using brute force against the #EndSARS protesters.
Obasanjo equally observed that the shooting and murder of unarmed protesters, no matter the level of provocation, has never been effective in suppressing public anger and frustation
Such brutal action, according to him, can only reinforce the anger and frustration of the populace and close the window of dialogue and peaceful resolution.
Obasanjo, who expressed his “heavy heart and a deep sense of concern about the goings-on in the country”, however, enjoined the protesting youths in the country to give peace a chance as they go about making their legitimate demands.
The former president made these known on Wedneday, in a statement entitled “Violence Against Protesters in Nigeria: An Appeal for Calm”, a copy which was made available to newsmen through Obasanjo’s his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi, Obasanjo maintained that using brute force against the protesters is not the best option.
The statement reads in part: “The shooting and murder of unarmed protesters, no matter the level of provocation, has never been effective in suppressing public anger and frustration. Instead, such actions only reinforce the anger and frustration of the populace and close the window of dialogue and peaceful resolution.
“It is clear that Mr. President and his lieutenants did exhaust the opportunities for dialogue with the protesters before resorting to use of force. It is worse that there is denial of wrong doing inspite overwhelming visual evidence. Great harm has been done but it can be stopped before it completely spirals out of control.”
He stated further that the country was at a critical moment, pointing out that “the President must act now before it is too late. This time demands leadership and mature leadership at such”.