Northern Governors Forum (NGF) has condemned the wanton destruction that followed the #EndSars protests across the country, sue for calm, even as they noted that the unity of Nigeria is sacrosanct.
Reading from a communiqué issued at the end of an emergency meeting, Chairman of Northern States Governors Forum (NGF), Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau state, called for comprehensive reforms of the police. He said that since the #EndSars protests has been hijacked by hoodlums, the genuine protesters should stand down the protest for now to ensure peace across the country.
“The Northern States Governors’ Forum held an emergency meeting, Thursday October 22, 2020 and extensively discussed issues bordering on national security particularly the nationwide EndSars protest which has led to the wanton destruction of lives and properties in some parts of the country.
“The Forum expressed worry and concern on why the protests have persisted despite the magnanimity exhibited by the Federal Government and various state governments, calls from well-meaning Nigerians to put an end to the protest.
“The meeting discussed the various dimensions of Endsars protest across the country. While appreciating constitutional rights of all citizens to express concern even by way of protest, it however condemned the incessant destruction of lives and properties that ensued in the process. Forum commiserates with those who lost their lives, the wounded and those whose properties were destroyed.
“Forum strongly sues for unity and peaceful co-existence of all citizens and groups of people in Nigeria. Urge all Nigerians to see themselves as equal citizens of the countryas the unity of Nigeria cannot be compromised.
“The Forum regrets the diabolical influencers in the form of hooliganism, ethno-religious bigots and even political marauders who are bent on pulling the nation down on its knees and pushing for regime change. The Forum called on all Nigerians to resist these enemies of the nation by supporting Mr. President, the Federal Government and democracy at large.
“NGF appeal to all citizens to restraint themselves from unwarranted disposition of sentiments, harassment and intimidation of other citizens resident in their home states. Forum notes that all these are antics of the enemies of the country who are violently pushing for regime change outside the ballot box and resolve to further intensify their strategic engagements among different levels of stakeholders in their respective states.
Forum also notes the heavy presence of external influencers both locally and internationally and called on all citizens particularly community leaders and youth groups to be very vigilant and report the presence of such people to security agencies.
“The Forum calls for comprehensive and robust reforms in the Police Force, supports various initiatives put in place by the Federal Government and will ensure that they are fast tracked and given more impetus by the 19 Northern states. Federal Government to explore the possibility of ending ASUU strike as most of the youths are idle staying at home.
“The Forum advocates for the Constitution of Judicial Commission of enquiry to investigate all levels of destruction and killings during the Endsars protest. Forum calls for greater synergy between the state and the federal government in strengthening the unity, oneness and overall development of the country.
“Forum further restates her commitment in exploring areas of reviving the ailing economy of the North with reference to those areas of comparative advantage. The Forum is in synergy with other Governors in the South-West, South-South and South-East to address these challenges of nationhood headlong. Together we shall keep Nigeria united and indissoluble.
“NGF restates its confidence in the unity of Nigeria and supports all our colleagues in other states of the federation in our collective efforts to restore peace and stability. Forum salutes the resilience and restraint of the Northern youths in the face of the current challenges and also acknowledges the leadership qualities exhibited by some prominent Nigerian leaders in persuading and calming nerves of the youths,” Governor Lalong said.