EndSars Protester continue at Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos.Photo Akeem Salau
…Warns against ethnic divisiveness
By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA- Foremost rights advocacy group, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has condemned what it called the silence of President Buhari over protests against operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, a unit of the Nigeria Police Force, in the past two weeks.
The group in a statement issued by its national coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko on Thursday, claimed that “certain ethno-religious extremists have been paid by some government officials to stoke the embers of ethno – religious division to graphically paint the #EndSARS movements with ethnic and religious colourations.”
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The statement noted that youths of the country are angry “because the elders who have had access to public offices and those wielding political powers have continuously feasted on the commonwealth of the nation and are amassing massive assets for themselves and their children whilst impoverishing millions of citizen.”
As a way to checkmate the attacks targeting specific housing and commercial assets of persons perceived to have looted public fund when they served in different political offices, the rights group asked “looters in government and those already out of government” to return at least 75 per cent of the assets they amassed which were stolen from the public’s common till.
“As a way to douse the extensively expanding frontiers of civil unrest, arson, youth restiveness and built up but explosive tension all over Nigeria, we urge president Muhammadu Buhari to set up a justice and public assets recovery commission and invite former and current looters of public resources to surrender greater percentage of their looted assets to the government.
“This is so as to guarantee a return to stability, lasting security and to assuage the angry, impoverished and oppressed masses most of whom are young people, who are out of school but cannot find sustainable means of livelihood even when they know that some of their political leaders are professional and heartless rogues.
“This measure must be immediately activated because even if the youths are forced through military means to stop rioting, the youths will still re-assemble in the nearest future to re-launch their attacks targeting looters within and without government,” the statement read in part.
HURIWA also condemned attempts by “some mischief makers” to trigger inter-ethnic crises through the planting of toxic and dangerous information blaming any ethnic group for the street revolts which have rendered vehicular movements difficult in some parts of the country in the past two weeks.