The South South Peoples Conference (SSOPEC) has lamented that protest intended to draw attention of government to the atrocities perpetrated by the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) and demand of its scrapping snowballed into violence,looting, destruction of properties and has elicited ethnic sentiments in the country.
A statement by its Chairman, Prof. Sotonye Amakiri and Secretary, Eugene Nwala while lamenting the ethnic suspicion that came as aftermath of the EndSARS protest appealed to every ethnic group to sheath their sword and promote ideas that would strengthen the unity of the country and make it a decent and comfortable country for all.
The group admonished youths of the South South to avoid being persuaded to join any ethnic group to make the zone an epic centre of crisis.
“SSOPEC recognises the liberty of any group or individual not willing to promote peace in the South South to return to their zone to foment trouble. It is on record that the Nigeria Civil war was fought and won in the territory of South South. This must not be allowed to repeat; youths of these states must not be instigated to inflict more damage to the area in addition to environmental pollution and degradation, absolute deprivation and neglect already confronting the people,” the group said.
It urged governments at all levels to listen and fashion out policies to address critical problems identified by citizens and avoid being the source of escalating issues through action and inaction.
“Experience shows that deployment of division, falsehood, coercion and appeal to ethnic and religious sentiments have never been the catalyst to the development of any nation on earth. While we don’t support an iota of attack on the security agents, the security forces should be seen to display professionalism and adopt decent rule of engagement in times of protest and avoid being used against the very citizens they are paid in the first place to protect,” the group said.