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#EndSARS: DG of Progressive Governors Forum blames ministers, others for crisis

By Adamu Abuh, Abuja
23 October 2020   |   8:08 am
The director general of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), Dr Salihu Lukman has indicted key ministers and heads of departments and agencies of government over the raging nationwide protest against the activities of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). Lukman in a a statement titled "Save Nigeria for APC to Command Moral and Electoral Credibility" argued…

The director general of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), Dr Salihu Lukman has indicted key ministers and heads of departments and agencies of government over the raging nationwide protest against the activities of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

Lukman in a a statement titled “Save Nigeria for APC to Command Moral and Electoral Credibility” argued that the failure of the MDAs led to the situation where some states governors found themselves at the receiving end of the anger of protesters in the country.

The PGF chief noted that the crisis produced by the #EndSARS protests highlights the need for the President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently take steps to overhaul the machinery of government to make them more effective in responding to the needs of Nigerians.

Lukman acknowledged that the crisis is eroding the moral credibility of the APC and the country political leaders.

“It is, however, important to recognise that part of the problem weakening federal initiatives is the inability of many, if not all the mandate ministries and agencies responsible for one form of intervention or the other to competently and effectively initiate needed responses.

“For instance, how can we have a Ministry of Police Affairs and the ministry is unable to simulate good engagement strategy with innocent young Nigerians calling for reform of the Nigeria Police? What is the advantage of democracy if a ministry cannot be able to engage the demands of citizens?

“Where is the Ministry of Disaster Management and Humanitarian Services in all these? Doesn’t the mandate of the ministry include initiatives to prevent disaster? Or, is disaster management limited to attending to human casualties by way of providing palliatives?

“Where is the Ministry of Youth in all this? How can the ministry absent itself from centres of legitimate protests of our youth for more than a week? Where is the Ministry of Defence? Where is the Ministry of Interior? Where is National Orientation Agency?

“If all the agencies of government and political appointees managing these agencies have handle their responsibilities as is expected, this crisis would have been averted. In fact, the pressure on President Buhari’s direct intervention will not have been the case.

“A situation where lives of our leaders are being threatened and our party and our government demostrate weak responses is quite depressing. What is going on in Lagos State can happen to any state and any leader in an affected state can experience the same attack, if not worse.

“This must not be condoned and our leaders across all parts of the country must show strong solidarity and rise in defence of our leaders and Government in Lagos State. A threat to one, should be a threat to all, which is the needed reality!

“Unless we are able to develop a strong national response and restore peace in the country, APC will appear to be fast losing any moral credibility to present candidates for any election. This means winning elections in the country by APC, especially in the crisis affected areas will just be a daydream. Part of the sad reality is also that many of our political leaders live with the delusion that, if APC’s electoral viability is weakened or destroyed, they can move to other parties. All our political leaders should appreciate that the situation, as much as it is damaging to the APC as a party, it is more politically destructive to every leader of the party.

“If care is not taken, we may as well be writing our names as a generation of political leaders into a national black book. The implication of that may not be apparent at the moment. We therefore need to appeal to all our leaders to please treat the current situation with the utmost urgency it requires.

“This is the time when our claims to selfless service as progressive politicians is being tested, our humanity, nationalism and patriotism are being questioned. There is no doubt that our leaders are up to the task. We just need to strongly convey our appeals coming from our depressed and helpless hearts.”

Lukman called for concerted efforts aimed at resisting attempts by lawless people to take advantages of the situation to create anarchy resulting in the destruction of lives and property.

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