A chieftain of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) in Oyo State, Engineer Oyedele Hakeem Alao has declared that it is dangerous for President Muhammadu Buhari to keep quiet at this critical time in Nigeria.
Alao, who contested gubernatorial election on the platform of the AD in 2019, regretted that Buhari has not taken any concrete step to halt the killing of protesters who are demanding an end to Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) across the country.
The AD chieftain who said that it is dangerous for Buhari to keep turning deaf ears on the agitations of the protesters, insisted that Buhari’s silence is the major reason for the vandalization of critical infrastructures in the country.
He maintained that ugly incidents of killings, burning and destruction of public facilities would have been averted if Buhari, had risen to the occasion and addressed the irate protesters on time.
Alao in a statement issued on Wednesday in Ibadan through his Media Aide, Omotayo Iyanda, added that it is time for Buhari to stop treating public issues with hands in glove.
He said, “The ugly incidents of killings, burning and destruction of public facilities would have been averted if our President, Muhammadu Buhari, had risen to the occasion and addressed the irate protesters in time. It is time we stopped treating public issues as this with hands in glove. Without hiding behind a finger, the recent developments as highlighted above are becoming worrisome and, of course, are condemned. How can we allow the peaceful genuine protest to degenerate to the point of opening fires on our articulate youths leaving them lying in cold blood?
“It is very unfortunate that our government under President Muhammadu Buhari has not taken any concrete meaningful action on the requests of the protesters or at least show a fatherly concern to calm them down. Or is our president not in the country at the moment?
“The End SARS protest for two weeks of its start nationwide has been peaceful until recently when unsavory situations began to set in, which have suggested derailment by unsuspected hijackers and lack of prompt action on the part of the government, particularly from the federal government.
“A lot of uncomplimentary messages have been allegedly flying around for days from the Federal government threatening to deploy soldiers to disperse and displace the protesters, until the worst of all happened on Tuesday 20 October when fires were opened on the peaceful protesters at Lekki Toll Gate, Lagos, burning of public utilities particularly in Lagos State, and the latest attack on the palace of Oba of Lagos. Also, killings of police officers and civilians have been reported in other states of the federation, including our dear Oyo State.
“Of course, events of yesterday in Lagos and other parts of the country and some video clips on social media have clearly shown that hoodlums, maybe sponsored by the political class to discredit another, have infiltrated and hijacked the genuine protests by our youths, which has been long overdue as a result of insensitivity and misrule in the country as far is this democratic dispensation is concerned.
Alao further appealed to protesters to consider dialogue as they continue to protest against police brutality, bad governance, among others.
“However, we would like to appeal to them to start considering dialogue with the government to keep the gains of the protests so far because jaw-jaw approach is preferable to war-war situation. For whatever reasons, the federal government will be totally wrong if they think the use of force is the way to go. On the part of the protesters, there is supposed to be a well-articulated document now to contain all they want addressed and changed in our system as protest without leadership and clear direction lead nowhere.
“The Nigerian political leaders have taken for a ride for a long time our youths and the #EndSARS protest was begun as a sign of the expiration of their endurance. In this tough time, we are with them. They should continue in their peaceful protests because all of us feel and have been having a share of the pains they have been enduring as a result of bad governance across the country”.