Igbo youths under the auspices of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Worldwide, have called for calm and restoration of law and order across the country in the aftermath of violent destruction of private and public property by those who hijacked a peaceful agitation for police reforms.
In a statement by Hon Obinna Adibe,
National Publicity Secretary, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youths Worldwide said inasmuch as it supports the #EndSARS protest demanding an end to police brutality, extortion, torture and killings of young persons by different units of the police force, with special emphasis on SARS, it condemns destruction of property.
According to the group, “countless young people in the South East and across the country have fallen victims to police brutality for several years. There are numerous reports of such cases in all the five South East states and other states where Ndigbo live. For that reason, we commend the initiators of the protests for providing an opportunity for young people to express their grievances concerning police brutality.”
It also commended President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Government for accepting and granting the five-point demands of Nigerian youths, which it said “clearly shows that for once, young people have collectively gotten the government to listen to our sincere agitations on an issue.”
The group commended state governments that have set up judicial panels of inquiry, in line with demands of the #EndSARS protest, while demanding that youths should be part of the process.
“We would like to call on the governors of South East States and other states where Ndigbo reside to emulate Lagos State governments by including youths in those judicial panels they have set up
and for the panels to get to work and deliver on the directives of the Federal Government,” the group said.
It said the direct participation of youths in the process of investigation “is the right way to ensure that it achieves its ultimate aim. So we enjoin young people to get on board and follow up on the process. We must ensure that the process is impartial.”
The Igbo group commiserated with states and individuals that have suffered human and economic losses from the protest, saying: “It would be nice to experience years of peace and economic growth for a change. We cannot continue to take one step forward, and several steps backwards by giving way to such needless acts of destruction.”
It commended youths from the north for not allowing themselves to be used by those who tried to bring ethnic dimension to the protest.
“We commend our bothers in the northern part of the country who resisted all forms of provocation instigated by unscrupulous elements. We also commend the maturity exhibited by Northern Youths during the protests and after the protest. lt has shown that we are better off as a united, indivisible country,” the group said.
It also commend “youths of Ndigbo for the sacrifices of maintaining peace and returning normalcy in and outside lgbo land in the past couple of days ” while advising: “Please, let us continue to maintain calmness, peace and tranquillity in our land. Let us not destroy our collective and hard earned property and heritage.”