A member of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Abia State, Alex Otti, has condemned in unequivocal terms the shooting of unarmed and defenseless protesters by security agencies.
According to him, there is no justification whatsoever, to respond to peaceful protest with live ammunition.
He called on the Federal government to fish out all those involved in the shooting and prosecute them.
Otti made the call in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ferdinand Ekeoma and made available to newsmen on Thursday.
He appealed to youths protesting against police brutality in the country to halt the ongoing protest and consider approaching the negotiation table, especially now that governments at all levels have signalled their willingness to negotiate with the protesters in a bid to find a lasting solution to the their grievances.
He regretted that government authorities failed for years to intervene to stop those acts of violence and brutality perpetrated against innocent Nigerians by security agents for too long, which culminated in the present anger and frustration being expressed by the protesters.
Otti reminded the protesters that they have made a resounding and reverberating statement which has been applauded by citizens from within and outside the country, but maintained that Nigeria’s economy was so fragile that if the protest becomes protracted, it could affect ordinary citizens negativel.
He also decried the alleged destruction and looting of private and public institutions by some persons in different cities, describing it as being inconsistent with the philosophy behind the protest.
According to him, “my understanding is that the protest was not initiated to unleash violence against fellow citizens, but to stop the ones being perpetrated by security agents hence the need for protesters to conduct themselves with decorum and dignity so that they would not end up destroying institutions from which many citizens, including the youths earn a living, thereby losing the massive support of ordinary citizens”.
The ex-GMD of defunct Diamond Bank, called on government to take very urgent and decisive measures to ensure a successful dialogue and provide adequate compensation for the families of fallen citizens.
He prayed for the repose of the souls of those who lost their lives in the incident, while wishing the wounded, quick recovery.
On his part, Rt. Hon. Chinedum Orji, the Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, has called for calm and restraint on all sides.
The Speaker made the call in a statement made available to newsmen in Umuahia, Wednesday.
He said, “while I understand the grievances of our dear youths, it has become necessary at this time for them to be calm and allow government to deal with the issues agitating their minds especially now that the federal government has dissolved SARS.”
Orji also appealed to security agents to exercise the highest level of restraint by not engaging the youths with guns but with diplomacy.
“All sides need to show mutual understanding and forge a common front as citizens of same nation with the same aim of building a society where peace and justice reign,” he said.