The convener of Lets Get Powered Initiative and a youth’s empowerment mentor, Uche Annie- Okonkwo has said the EndSars protests should not be rubbished by criminal elements.
In a statement by the Executive Director of the group, Collins Steve Ugwu said the youths have conducted themselves peacefully so far.
He said “youths powered EndSARS protests currently rocking headlines in Nigeria with concurrent global traction, as the biggest political statement by the Nigerian youths in recent history, must not be rubbished by desperate criminal agents, or virtue deprived individuals with no honour.
“Our youths having conducted themselves with civility never seen before, government should never succumb to cheapen such resolve by arm twisting criminalisation of such a process with present and future utility precedent .
“As a government that routinely ridicules opposing voices as wailers, the strategy to engage the youths transparently is by far the best than any temptation to muzzle our liberty to protest and privilege to assemble peacefully, because when positive change is denied recklessly, peoples power is released liberally.
Okonkwo issued this strong caution against the backdrop of credible intelligence and news of criminal impersonators in Benin, Lagos and other places, where burning and looting assets is beginning to emerge.
He further explained that “The painful stagnation and annoying fluctuation of the virtues of our youths, is a crisis that has become a special Nigeria disaster, and compels radical sacrifices to say “No more with honour as a duty”.
“We must note that the non-negotiable values of our youths not only as the leaders of tomorrow, but as citizens that should first be alive today, is imperilled when a force for their protection becomes the weapon of aggression, shame and deaths.
“I find it deeply satisfying personally and worthy of sustenance by all, that this coordinated protests as a vocal metaphor for “End 2 Corruption and Poor Governance” must remain a salutary testimonial to the power of our collective resolve to always push back for a brighter outcome, Annie-Okonkwo counselled.
He called on everyone proudly involved directly or by proxy, to maintain eternal vigilance in keeping the campaign non-violent, to make sure that sponsored infiltrators or self-serving malcontents do not dent the huge stature of this redemptive mission.
And besides, he noted that the irony of the Nigerian Army choosing to dance as “a smiling crocodile” at this time is not is not a laughing matter to anyone except them.
“It is also now time to put the government perceived responsiveness, to test by quickly sorting out the #EndSARS leadership structure, with the desired authority to stay decisively interlocked with government on permanent interface as a norm not a favour, because no one is a higher Nigerian than our great youths ,” he added.