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Muslim Group speaks tough over #ENDSARS Protests (FULL STATEMENT)

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Following the END SARS PROTESTS embarked upon by some Nigerian youths in the past few days, the Muslim Media Watch Group of Nigeria has called on the Federal and State Governments to handle the matter with absolute care due to the sensitivity of the matter.

In a statement issued by the National Coordinator of the Group Alh. Ibrahim Abdullahi in Ilorin today, the Group stated that the Nation has been under palpable fear, instability and uncertainty since the protests started about two weeks ago.

He remarked that what started as genuine protests and reactions of the youths to unlawful acts of some members of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) has degenerated to arson, killing, illegal blockade of highways, stealing, damaging of innocent people’s property, as well as other criminal activities including jail– break in Edo State capital – Benin City.

Other heinous crimes were committed in Lagos, Abuja, Oyo, Plateau, Osun, Abia, Kano and Ekiti states leading to curfew in some of these States.

The Islamic Body therefore appealed to the protesting youths to respond positively to the call of the Federal Government, National Assembly and the well-meaning citizens of the Country including Religious and Traditional Leaders that the street protests should be suspended while dialogue should be given a chance since the Federal Government has disbanded the SARS and initiated actions to reform the Police in Nigeria.

The Group called on the Federal Government not to delay further actions on Police reform including the orientation of the rank and file of the Police against brutality, extortion, and other acts of criminality been perpetrated by some irresponsible members of the Force.

The issue of manpower, training and sufficient funds to run our Police system the group said, are equally important; therefore, efforts must be made that a new policing system comparable to anyone in the civilized world emerges for Nigeria very soon.

Meanwhile, the Muslim Media Word Group has drawn the attention of the Federal Government and Security Agencies to the fact that arising from these protests, the Nation is now in danger as police is reluctant to act when crimes are being committed; the military does not want to get involved and criminal elements are having a “field day” by preventing innocent people from running their daily economic life under the guise of #ENDSARS protests.

We must therefore stop the laize – faire attitude of the Police and other Security Agencies by preventing anarchy to save more lives. Security agencies must do their work and save peoples’ lives and property.

POLITICAL REFORM
The current development is a metaphor and indication that other issues being raised by the Nigerian Youths must have actions commenced on them without further delay.
The Federal Government must therefore initiate steps to address the following to pacify the youths to return home while action is being processed to meet their requests. These include:-
1. Initiating action that would reduce cost of governance by merging all Agencies that are duplicated to save costs.
2. Setting-up of Committee to Review CONFAB 2014 recommendations and after adoption of their recommendations forward same to the NASS as part of Constitution amendment currently going on.
3. Recommend to the Legislature Uni-camera system instead of current Bi-camera Legislature to take effect from 2023
4. Re-invigorate EFCC to fight corruption holistically instead of the present situation whereby the fight is suspected to be noise-diving due to corruption
5. Reconstitute the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to show that the Government is committed to efficiency, transparency and effectiveness as some Federal Cabinet members are being accused of incompetence, ineptitude and corruptive tendencies

OBSERVATION:
The current crisis is an eye-opener that the narrative has changed. Failure to accede to necessary demands of these youths would lead to instability in the Nation.

The youths have shown that they have the power to bring Government ‘to its kneels’ if it fails to do well! How ready is the Federal and State Government to face this challenge?

The Muslim Media Watch Group of Nigeria also appealed to President Muhammad Buhari not to delay his Presidential Address any longer, rather he should do it in a way that would covers all other aspects being raised not only by the youths but by citizens of Nigeria including issues that affect Education especially ASUU/FG imbrogolio, Unemployment of young ones, sky- rocketing food prices and establishment of National Youth Development Commission.

It is unfortunate that this crises tends to be rubbishing the achievements so far recorded by this Administration, a quick action in this direction would surely rejuvenate the love and affection of the people for Buhari Administration as the outcome of actions being taken would renew the popularity of Buhari Administration.

CONCLUSION
We appeal to the Parents and Guardians who have lost the control of their children and wards to sit-up and call their way-ward children to order as their criminal activities are punishable under the law.
Let road blockage, street protests, and brigandage stop to pave way for the success for the overall benefit of everyone.

IBRAHIM ABDULLAHI FCIPM
National Coordinator
Muslim Media Watch Group of Nigeria
21st October, 2020

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