By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A group of political parties in the country under the aegis of the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has said the nationwide broadcast of President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday night on the unrest in the country came rather too late.
The group, in a statement issued on Friday, disclosed that the President was warned earlier about the tragedy that could befall the nation if he was slow to react to the burning issues.
For nearly two weeks, youths in the country cried out to the federal government through protests across the nation calling for an end to the notorious Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police Force because of its impunity.
Though the police authorities announced the scrapping of the unit, the demonstrators said they were not convinced because it was not the first time such pronouncement was made.
Despite calls from many quarters, including from the international community for the President to speak to the nation on the matter raised by the youths, he did not oblige.
On Tuesday, things turned bloody after soldiers opened fire on peaceful protesters at the Lekki Toll Plaza in Lagos, allegedly leading to the death of some of them.
However, the army has denied involvement in the shooting and the Lagos State government has maintained that no fatality was recorded in the unfortunate incident.
Yesterday, Mr Buhari addressed the nation in what many observers have claimed was pre-recorded and in the broadcast, he never made a specific mention on the Lekki shooting, sparking outrage on social media.
Today, CNPP reacted to the presidential broadcast, saying it came too late because the government was warned: “ahead of the ongoing carnage but never listened.”
In the statement signed by its Secretary-General, Mr Willy Ezugwu, the group noted that “if the President had made this statement last week, the ongoing carnage may have been averted.”
“While we continue to condemn acts of violence under whatever circumstances, what is the use of the charmer after the snake has bitten?” it asked.
“CNPP intelligence that led to the plea that President Buhari should address the nation to calm ruffled nerves fell on deaf ears.
“Equally, the warning that any attempt to shoot at the #EndSARS protesters would be catastrophic was also ignored. But today, it is hoped that the government is wiser and be more proactive in the future.
“It must be noted that CNPP as led by Alhaji Balarabe Musa, the National Chairman, is on the ground in all the states of the federation and in touch with the ordinary citizens. We feel their mood and clearly understand their feelings.
“It was an error on the path of the All Progressives Congress (APC) government to have ignored the CNPP’s warnings.
“If the President’s broadcast was made a week ago, the carnage may have been prevented but it is now coming too late in the day.
“Nigeria belongs to all of us. The ruling APC must stop seeing the voice of the opposition as the voice of enemies.
“Right now, Nigerians are tired of propaganda and mere promises. We, therefore, urge President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure justice is done by punishing adequately all SARS officers who extrajudicially killed citizens in the past and match words with actions by immediately reforming the Nigeria Police Force.
“The government must ensure that there is no cover-up in an investigation of the Lekki shooting and other investigation by the state governments. This is the only way to assuage the protesting youths.
“Nigeria must know that a well-funded police force will perform its internal security duties creditably. To this end, we call on the federal government to immediately begin the process of minimising the involvement of the Nigerian military in internal security operations, including the war on insurgency.
“A well trained, properly equipped, and well-motivated police force will provide first-class security for the country as the Nigerian police have proven to be among the best during foreign peacekeeping operations. A word is enough for the wise,” the CNPP said.
more recommended stories
VSF Commences Third Phase of COVID-19 Intervention Fund
By Adedapo Adesanya The Victims Support.
Police Restricts Movement in Lagos Saturday for By-Elections
By Modupe Gbadeyanka Movements in and.
Access Bank Triggers Gender-Based Violence Debate
By Ahmed Rahma With the increase.
FG Threatens to Sanction DisCos Selling Prepaid Meters
By Adedapo Adesanya The federal government.
Nigeria Police Admits ‘Photoshopping’ Pictures of Suspects
By Dipo Olowookere The Nigeria Police.
FATE Foundation Equips Entrepreneurs With Handbook Series
By Ahmed Rahma As more youth.
We’re into Real Estate to Solve Nigeria’s Housing Issues—SSAFRI Homes
By Dipo Olowookere Getting a decent.
Zabarmari Massacre: Garba Shehu is Highly Irresponsible—Senator
By Modupe Gbadeyanka A Senator from.