Akwa Ibom is all we have, let us protect it — Gov Udom appeals to protesting youths

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…Don’t allow these unpatriotic elements to destroy private or public property

The Akwa Ibom state government has, on Thursday, appealed to hundreds of youths protesting against police brutality in the state to seek redress through the Judicial panel of inquiry set up to investigate incidents of police brutality and other human rights abuses in the state.

The state government noted that the protests in the state has been hijacked by elements bent on plundering the state and looting businesses. The Akwa Ibom government warned it won’t allow strangers to invade the state and destroy public and private property, which was laboured strenuously to build and acquire over decades.

Also read: #EndSARS: Akwa Ibom sets up Judicial panel to investigate police brutality

In a statement by the State Government, obtained by VANGUARD, the state government revealed that Governor Udom is committed o assuaging the protesters by setting up and inaugurating a Judicial Panel of Investigation.

According to the statement, “The national protest by citizens against police brutality started in our country a few weeks ago, with a concomitant spread to different states of the federation. About a week ago, youths gathered at the globe roundabout, Uyo to register their solidarity with victims of police brutality and to draw the attention of the world to the prevalence of these issues.”

“The Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel addressed the protesters who were very peaceful. Thereafter, the protesters shifted base to the city centre and have since remained very peaceful.”

“In response, the Governor has swiftly taken steps to assuage the protesters by setting up and inaugurating a Judicial Panel of Investigation.”

The state government bemoans the spates of violent attacks by suspected hoodlums who it said have hijacked the peaceful protests in the state.

“As at today, we have witnessed scenarios where the protests were hijacked by hoodlums who were attacking public and private property and looting business premises, which confirm the earlier intelligence available to us on the planned hijack of the peaceful demonstrations. To this end, we appeal to all genuine protesting groups to please suspend their protest due to the obvious hijack by negative minded elements. The protesters and other victims should rather use the opportunity provided by the Panel of Investigation, which sitting will commence on 26th October 2020 at the High Court complex, FULGA road, Uyo.”

“We cannot, therefore, allow strangers to invade our state and destroy our public and private property, which we laboured strenuously to build and acquire over decades. To allow these unpatriotic elements to destroy private or public property, will be to surrender our land to evil plunder and we will have ourselves to blame when all of this is over. Like we have seen in other parts of the country, today we witnessed the protests take a violent turn, where innocent citizens have been brutalized and property destroyed. The people whom the peaceful demonstration sought to protect have become the victims of violent protest because, in mob action, no one is safe.”

“As the curfew imposed by the Governor subsists, We ask all Akwa Ibom people to be on red alert and report to the police and other security agencies, any suspicious movements and persons. We are trusting that God, who has been our help in ages past and our hope for years to come, will continue to keep our state and citizens safe. Akwa Ibom is all we have as God’s piece of real estate for us and we must take practical steps to protect our collective heritage.”

Vanguard News

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