By Ikechukwu Odu
NSUKKA- The former national chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, yesterday, called on the President Muhammadu Buhari, to address the protesting Nigerian youths and save the country from the impending anarchy.
Nwodo, who was also a former governor of Enugu State said, addressing the youths on the extent the president and his All Progressives Congress, APC-led federal government has gone in meeting the demands of the protesters would go a long way in calming the flaring tempers of the youths which is gradually plunging the nation to a state of anarchy.
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Nwodo while saying that the protesters had remained on the streets to ensure that the government were sincere with their promises, condemned the ongoing shooting of unarmed young men and women in some areas in Nigeria.
“The country was happy that the protesters and the government were on the same page because everybody realized the execesses of the Nigerian police. When government responded by disbandment of the Special Anti Robbery Squad, SARS, we felt it was on the same page with the youths and the majority of Nigerians who experienced police brutality.
“Because the trust Nigerians have on the government at all levels were on a very low ebb, the youths remained on the streets and even made further demands to ensure that government were serious with the implementation. I would have thought that the president would have made a national broadcast, reacting positively to the things he has already taken care of among the demands of the protesters and then, give deadline for those he was yet to do, and if necessary, invite some leaders of the protesters for a dialogue on other outstanding issues which the government may not be able to address immediately. That would have taken the youths off the streets.
“Now, the sympathy of the world at large is with the protesters because government allowed criminals to infiltrate peaceful protests that have been going on for over 13 days now. So, you can’t blame the protesters completely for the criminal elements who have infiltrated them. It is the duty of the police to protect the protesters and ensure that bad eggs do not infiltrate them.
“Government was ill-advised to send military men to start shooting unarmed young men and women bearing the national flags and singing the national anthem. However, it is not too late for the president to rise to the occasion; afterall, these are his children. He should caution and advise them, not shooting them. I don’t think anyone would refuse to listen to him when he talks to the protesters as a father. Nothing would get the youths off the streets like the presidential address,” he said.