Felix Ikem, Nsukka
An Enugu State House of Assembly member, Hon Emma Ugwuerua, representing Nsukka West, has warned youths in the State against violence protests and vandalising public and private property.
Property, including government and private, police stations, banks, homes, public installations among others, have been vandalised since the #EndSARS protest was hijacked by hoodlums and mobs across Nigeria.
Ugwuerua, who is the House Committee Chairman on Judiciary and Public Petition, acknowledged the fundamentals right of the youths to peacefully protest, but decried the hijacking of the protests by hoodlums and criminal elements, stating that the situation is unacceptable and should be condemned.
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In a statement issued Tuesday in Nsukka, Ugwuerua called on youths in the State and other parts of the country to stop violent attacks, looting and vandalism, saying that government has accepted to address and implement all issues raised by the peaceful #EndSARS protesters in regard to police brutality and good governance.
The state representative also condemned the shooting and killing of unarmed protesters by some security agents.
‘Indisputably, the #ENDSARS protest embarked by Nigerian youths to end Police abuse and brutality of the citizens was meant well for Nigerians. The youths meant no evil and committed no heinous crime rather they exercised strict observance of rule of law in the exercise of their fundamental human rights of peaceful protest.
‘It was however unfortunate that the well-intended protest was aborted with the sporadic shooting and killing of the innocent and harmless protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate Lagos, culminating to their hijack of the protest by hoodlums in the various parts of the country.
‘Since the infiltration of hoodlums in the protest, many innocent and defenceless people have been maimed and killed; while destruction and vandalisation of government and individual property is still going on.
‘The shooting of the protesters was indeed uncalled for, unacceptable and condemnable. It still revolved around the brutality the youths stood up to condemn. Killing with impunity!.
‘There is no doubt that the future of this country is in the hands of the youths, who we believe can make better leaders if properly harnessed and integrated into the country’s political system and administration. We should therefore support our youths when they are doing well and condemn and advise them when they go wrong.
‘In the light of the ongoing looting of banks and warehouses, killing and destruction of government and individual property in the name of the #ENDSARS Protest, it is essentially necessary to advise youths in Enugu State and the country, in general, to stop forthwith from engaging in this despicable act,’ the lawmaker said.
Ugwuerua appealed to youths in Enugu North Senatorial District not to allow themselves to be used in protests aimed at looting and destruction of government and individual facilities in the area.
‘I appeal to the youths in Enugu North Senatorial Zone to disregard any persuasion from any quarter to join in protest that is aimed at looting and destruction of government and individual facilities in the area.
‘Let us rally round our Executive Governor, Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, who has been working relentlessly to ensure that the demands of the #ENDSARS Protesters are adhered to and actualized. We should also endeavour to furnish the panel of inquiry on police brutality, already inaugurated by Governor Ugwuanyi with relevant information that will assist the panel get to the root of the police abuse and dehumanization of innocent citizens of the state,’ he said.
He further called on all politicians, Local Government Chairmen in the State, members of the National and State Assemblies, traditional rulers, town union presidents as well as religious bodies to rise to the present occasion by educating young people to shun gangsterism and think of ways to revamp Nigeria’s ailing economy and others challenges.