By Chinedu Adonu
The apex body of Igbo socio-cultural organisations, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth wing has debunked speculations which attributed the Endsars protests embarked upon by youths in different parts of the country as an initiative of Igbo race.
The organisation cautioned against what it described as ‘ unguarded utterances of some persons aimed at further widening the fault lines of the Nigerian state by pitching peaceful brothers into a state of bellicose’.
In a statement in Enugu yesterday by it’s national youth leader, Dr Arthur Obiora, the group said the EndSARS demonstration was a pan-Nigerian affair powered by youths from across all ethnic bias and therefore, any statement from any body to the contrary should be discountenanced.
The Ohanaeze youth wing commended the efforts of the federal government and various states that have set up panels of inquiry in resolving the various issues raised in the protest and pleaded that private organizations which lost goods and materials in the aftermath of the violence that erupted within the protests should also be compensated.
The statement read in part: ‘”That we are in support of the youths that were peacefully protesting for an end to the inhuman activities of the SARS unit of the Nigeria police and a reformation aimed at improving the standard of the police. It is their democratic right to demonstrate.
“We place blame at the door steps of the security agencies who stood akimbo watching hoodlums, who started attacking the peaceful EndSARS demonstrators in various cities across Nigeria and gradually turned the peaceful protest into a show of looting and our streets into rivers of blood.
“We condemn in totality, the cold blooded murder of innocent and unarmed protesters at the Lekki Toll gate by men garbed in military fatigue. We call on the military authorities to urgently fish out the dastard perpetrators of this inhumanity for prosecution in line with sane human standards. They should cease from their ostrich-denial style and do the globally acceptable.
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“That the scope of the commissions of inquiry being set up across the states and FCT should include compensation for those whose private properties were looted by the hoodlums who turned the EndSARS protests into a looting spree.
“The ENDSARS demonstration is a pan-Nigerian affair powered by youths from across all ethnic bias and as such, the Igbonisation of the protest by Nnamdi Kanu of the IPOB to the effect that it is an Igbo affair should be discountenanced as he is not speaking for the Igbo nation”.
The group made a clarion call on security agencies to rise up to their duties of protecting lives and properties, and not allow this current situation to degenerate into unenviable situation.
They affirmed their extreme support to moves by the parent body of Ohanaeze Ndigbo led by Chief Nnia Nwodo in cementing the bond of friendship between Ndigbo and our Yoruba brothers, as being promoted by our leader, Chief Nnia Nwodo and the leader of Afenifere, Pa Reuben Fasoranti .
They also urged all Igbo youths to continue to be of exemplary behaviour and stay out of the current anarchy that is prevailing in various parts of Nigeria in the form of looting.