By Michy Abraham in Maiduguri
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has called for an end to the protest in some parts of the nation, insisting that Nigerians should protect the collective corporate interest of the country.
The Chairman of APC Caretaker/Extraordinary National Convention Committee, Alhaji Mai-Mala Buni in a statement on Saturday said the party was “saddened by the unfortunate tragedy that had enveloped some parts of the country in the last few days by hoodlums who took over what was supposed to be a peaceful protest against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police.”
He pleaded with Nigerians to halt the #ENDSARS protests for the collective corporate interest of our dear country, insisting that: “We have no other country than Nigeria.”
He said the ruling party was committed to the ideals of democracy and recognize the inalienable rights of the citizens to demand for changes “in conditions which trample on their liberties, freedom of association, freedom of speech and wellbeing through peaceful means and rule of law.”
Buni said: “We acknowledge the peaceful commencement of the protests until it became violent, destructive and disorderly as hoodlums regrettably seized the opportunity in the protests and virtually took over.
“On behalf of the leadership and membership of the All Progressives Congress (APC), we solemnly condole with the families of our countrymen and the families of policemen who lost their loved ones and pray that Almighty God will grant them the fortitude to bear the loss.
“We also extend our empathy to all those whose properties were torched and pray that Almighty God will replenish it. We pray we never experience such avoidable and unnecessary horrendous carnage in our dear fatherland.”
He added that: “It is gladdening that President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, had quickly responded and disbanded the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police (SARS) as demanded by the protesting youth. “
He said: “The party also welcomed the decision for comprehensive reforms, including the review of salaries of the Nigeria Policemen as announced by Mr President.”
He appealed that: “Our dear Compatriots, let us reflect and embrace peace; at a time of national tragedy such as this, it should not be a time for playing politics, it is no time to dance to the gallery to score cheap political points. It is a time for introspection and Nigeria first. Lets come together irrespective of our political, religious and ethnic differences we should rally around the government to build sanity and strengthen peace and unity to ensure the corporate existence of our country.
“To our youth, your message has been heard loud, clear, and well understood. The next stage that must follow is the needed engagement with all the structures of government to address all the concerns around the protest and effectiveness of government in general. It is imperative for the youths to extricate themselves from the activities of the criminal elements who have taken over the protests and perpetrating violence, destruction of property and attacking innocent Nigerians.
“As a party, we will take every step to support the government to bring this unwholesome situation to an immediate end. We will make sure that all those found culpable will face the wrath of the law. For it is the desire of all Nigerians that a peaceful atmosphere return to the country for the good of greatest number of our dear countrymen.”
He said: “The party therefore join President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR in appealing to our youths to call off the protests for peace and normalcy to return to our dear country.
“The more united we are as a people, the more peace we have and the more secured we are in our country; the more progressive we all become and the more abundant shared prosperity for our children.”