Act now before it’s too late, Attah tells government
Against the backdrop of the #EndSars protests, an elder statesman and former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attah, has called on the Federal and state governments in the country not to give room for another protest by youths.
According to him, if such incidents happen again, it will spell doom. He, therefore, called on those concerned “to fix the nation before it is too late.”
Attah made this appeal when he attended the October congress of Nigeria Union of Journalists, Akwa Ibom State council and presented a statement titled, ‘Do Something Before It Is Too Late.’
The former governor observed that the ugly events, which enveloped Nigeria recently in the last three weeks, were not motivated by ethnic, religious or by any means, sectional interests.
His words: “Today, from every part of this country, the South South, Southwest, Southeast, Middle Belt, North, and indeed, the Far North, more voices have risen and combined into a thunderous national crescendo call for a rebirth.
“In every part of this country today, the urgent and compelling need for such a change has been acknowledged and endorsed. My passionate plea to the government is to please do something now before it is too late.
“Let us not wait for people to come out on the street to press their demand for change. God forbid, if that should happen, there would be no holding back. It would spell the beginning of an end.”
Obong Attah, however, charged the youths to continually work together in defence of their inheritance and to be totally united in their condemnation of all manner of unethical behaviour and hooliganism that could lead to the destruction of personal and public property.
“I want to, therefore, appeal to our youths, to eschew bitterness and show commitment to the peace process by halting all further protests so that they will not be accused of participating in the destruction of their own future.”
He expressed shock that the Nigeria Police that have won several acclaims and accolades during peace keeping missions abroad could exhibit such unacceptable behaviour at home.
“I know that public resentment to police brutality, particularly SARS, is not a sudden thing, it has been building up. In response, the Federal Government set up in 2018, a presidential panel on SARS reforms.
“After thorough investigation, the panel recommended the sacking of 37 police officers, and the prosecution of 24 others. The panel further tasked the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to unravel the identity of 22 other officers involved in the violation of human rights of innocent citizens. To the best of my knowledge, no effect has been given to the panel’s report,” he said.
While regretting that the nation’s youths were shot and killed for seeking a change in the social order, for seeking a better future for themselves, “which we the elders have denied them,”Attah prayed God to forgive the souls of the brave youths who paid the supreme price and grant them kind admittance into his kingdom of peace.