By Patrick Ochoga, Benin City
Members of the South-South Legacy Group, a non-political, non-religious, have condemned the recent actions of some hoodlums and criminals who infiltrated the ranks of the #ENDSARS protesters in Benin on Monday, October 19th, 2020, “hijacked the protest and rein terror on our people.”
In a statement signed on behalf of the group by Osagie Aiguobasinwin and Hon. Camilus Okosun and made available to newsmen the group described as unacceptable, barbaric, lawless and inhumane the action of the Hoodlums.
Parts of the statement reads: “We, as a body, have watched keenly the recent happening in the national body polity as it also affects our dear states in the region.
“As a matter of fact the organizers of the ongoing #ENDSARS peaceful protest, have our solidarity, support, understanding and endorsement for the protest to correct the many errors in our national body polity, even as some of our members in this group may have been directly or indirectly involved in the organization and conduct of the #ENDSARS peaceful protest.
“Let us for the clarity of purpose look at the original driving agenda of the organizers of the protest and crusade. The agenda are basically and originally five in number. Wants the SARS unit of the police force scraped, erring members tried, convicted and dismissed or jailed as the case may be. End police brutality and victimisation of Nigerian youths and other innocent Nigerians.
“Remodel the Nigerian police force to be people friendly and work for the people as proper reorientation is recommended. For compensation to be paid to the victims of scrapped SARS living or dead. Better pay package for the officers and men of the police force.
“These were mere summary of the demands as they may not have been put in the exact choice words of the organizers of #ENDSARS but those were the messages. It may interest you to know that, for as much as we don’t intend to be the mouth piece of government but to, in principle and action represent the people and the much affected average Nigerians.”
Going forward, the group reiterated: “It is more heart breaking and unacceptable to us as a people for anyone to turn the rein of terror against our people. We will not accept this and Edo, as well as the other south-south states’ people both at home, across Nigeria and in diaspora should stand up in unison to condemn the criminal invasion, destruction and setting ablaze of five police stations in Benin, as well as attacks on media houses like the DAAR Communications’ AIT Benin Center and Vibes FM Radio station, among other institutions.
“We should stand up to condemn the invasion of the two correctional facilities in Benin as well as releasing of inmates into the society. These hoodlums made away with ammunition and other firearms. You will want to ask for what intention would it be put into if not for criminality.
“We at this level are saying, unequivocally that the actions of the miscreants who hid under the aeges of #ENDSARS protest on Monday in Benin City is unacceptable, barbaric, lawless, inhumane, and a far cry from the reason, principle and philosophy of the #ENDSARS agitation.”