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EndSARS: President’s Speech, Utterly Disappointing- PANDEF

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Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), has faullted President Muhammadu Buhari’s address to the nation yesterday, Thursday, October 22, 2020, on the #EndSARS protests as ‘largely rhetoric, placid, and disappointing.’

Hon. Ken Robinson, the National Publicity Secretary of the regional group, in a statement, said, ‘While Mr. President finally heeded calls to address the nation on the on-goings in the country, we do not think his address resonated what the youths who were on the streets of Nigeria for #EndSARS, #EndPolicBrutality Protest.’

‘It was not the time for heralding attainments of the most lopsided social intervention programmes of the administration.’

‘Nigerians had expected a frank, confidence building, trust boosting, and emphatical address. The massacre of peaceful protesters at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos on the evening of Tuesday, 20th October 2020, where persons in army uniform shot sporadically at the peaceful protesters, leading to many young Nigerians being injured and unspecified dead, was the high point of the #EndSARS protests.’

He further stated that, ‘It was, therefore, grossly disappointing that Mr. President said nothing about that awful incident in his address.’

‘While it is apparent that the peaceful EndSARS protests may have been hijacked by unscrupulous persons, the fact remains that what happened at Lekki toll gate, last Tuesday evening, was most despicable and would remain an awful smudge on the nation’s democratic journey.’

Moving on, he stated, ‘The world has become a global village. With technology, the world is totally connected. What happened at the Lekki toll gate was instantly seen by the global community. Nigeria is an important member of the global community for many reasons. With a population of over 200 million, any untold crisis in the country would affect the whole world, and therefore, the untactful warning of our neighbours and the International Community was completely unnecessary.’

He also revealed that, ‘PANDEF had a few days ago called on the African Union and the International Community to intervene in the situation in Nigeria before things get out of hand. We would wish to reiterate that call.’

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