A former State Coordinator of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), for Delta, Edo and Rivers States, Hon. Joel-Onowakpo Thomas, has called on Nigerians protesting police brutality and extortion with hashtag #EndSARS to discontinue the protest before it further degenerate.
BIGPEN reports that tens of thousands of Nigerian youths have been on the street nearly a week plus now, calling for an end to police brutality, extortion and justice for victims of the atrocities of the outlawed Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The protests which is gathering momentum each passing day, is also being held in several countries outside the shores of Nigeria.
But worried about the violence which has characterize the protests in some part of the country, Onowakpo, a chieftain of the APC who had served as Chairman, Delta State Board of Internal Revenue, urged the Nigeria protesters to take a cue from what happened in Syria where a similar protests snowballed into a civil war in the country.
Reacting to journalists queries if truly it was time to end the protests, Onowakpo retorted; “of course otherwise it degenerate and nobody will remember the reason for the protest”.
“Is anybody still talking about the protest in Syria which led to the war for over 10yrs? Are they still talking about removing the president or Election in Syria. Remember, Syria is a very small country compared to Nigeria”.
He said that so long the Nigeria authorities and President Muhammadu Buhari has kick started the process of addressing the issues raised by the #EndSARS protesters, there shouldn’t be any need for overstretching the issues that are currently being handled.
While aligning himself to calls for total reformation of the Nigeria Police Force, with improved welfare package and bring justice to victims of SARS atrocities which were the core reasons for the protest, Onowakpo urged the protesters to put the political stability of the nation first and stop the protests which he said are capable of truncating the country’s democracy.
He contended that President Buhari has agreed to the demands of the protesters and was already sorting out the vexed issues hence it is necessary to discontinue the protests to save the country from drowning.
“I wish to align myself with the urgent need for total reformation of Nigeria Police. EndSARS alone will not give the desired result. An improved welfare package will be the step in the right direction.
“A Word of Caution. The President and Civil Societies should listen to each other. The stability of the country is very important. Our democracy is under threat! We should not overstretch an issue if it is being handled. Remember this is how it all started in Syria.
“You have made your point, it is time to articulate your demands and sit down with government to implement these before the essence of this struggle is abused”, he added.