The ongoing clampdown against EndSARS protesters and promoters by the Muhammadu Buhari-led government has been condemned by the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF).
They have, therefore, called on President Buhari to ensure an end to all forms of divisive and repressive steps currently being taken against the EndSARS protesters by his administration.
The leaders stated this in a joint statement they released on Wednesday and entitled, ‘You can’t kill EndSARS with terror.’
In the statement signed by Senator Bassey Henshaw (South-south); Yinka Odumakin (South-west); Chief Guy Ikokwu (South-east) and Dr Isuwa Dogo (Middle Belt), the leaders condemned the freezing of the protesters’ accounts by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the demonisation of the protesters by the government.
The equally said that the governor of
CBN, Godwin Emefiele, who tagged the protesters as ‘terrorists’, should try and understand the real definition of terrorism.
The leaders said, ‘’We did not miss the projection when we interpreted President Muhammadu Buhari’s regrets of his accepting the #ENDSARS demands quickly as being seen as a sign of weakness in his last broadcast as a declaration that he would bare his fangs and ruthlessly deal with the protesters after the unwarranted and wicked killings of some of them at Lekki Tollgate and other places.
‘’Let us state clearly first that we are not in any way impressed by the belated and after-thought measure of sending some Kaduna delegates like the Chief of Staff and the IG round the non-Arewa sections of the country with a script to manipulate support for the ruthless killings of our young people and the barbaric desire to clamp down on social media as we have seen in the communiqués of the safaris to the South-east and South-west.
“We see the denial by Oyo Governor, Mr. Seyi Makinde, that the South-west did not canvass the clampdown on social media as a signal that the foot soldiers of the regime are deceiving themselves to colour the good points our people made at those sessions with the stinking propaganda of deluded colonial lords in Abuja.
‘’There have been reports of preventing leaders and supporters of the protest from travelling and alleged seizures of their travelling documents and freezing of their bank accounts without court process at a time the Attorney-General of the Federation is asking UAE authorities to give him the records of trials of six Nigerian Boko Haram funders convicted in that country by the highest court so he can certify whether justice was done or not.”
According to SMBLF, if Nigeria “is properly governed”, what the government should concern itself with by now should be how to properly heal and ensure the country never go through another unrest.