22nd October, 2020
#ENDSARS: MURIC APPEALS FOR CALM
Nigeria’s #EndSARS crisis which escalated in the last 48 hours has led to the loss of lives and properties particularly in Lagos. Soldiers and mobile policemen were also drafted to hot spots. Meanwhile many well-meaning individuals and organisations have appealed to the protesters to allow peace to reign. Among the organisations which have issued appeals is the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC).
In a statement issued on Thursday, 22nd October, 2020, the Director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola, appealed for calm. MURIC hailed young Nigerians for demanding an end to harassment and intimidation in the hands of men of the Special Armed Robbery Squad (SARS). However, the Islamic human rights group reminded the young protesters that they should step back after making their points to allow the government to actualize their demands.
“Nigerian youths have demonstrated the ability to articulate their grievances”, MURIC said. “They showed ingenuity in the coordination of the welfare of fellow protesters thereby lending credence to the ‘not too young to rule’ mantra.
“However, we are saddened by the carnage which attended the protests in the last 48 hours. The level of destruction and its geographical locations convince us that it was not the handiwork of the youths who started the demonstrations. There are also strong indications that the attacks on prisons where hardened criminals were set free was not carried out by our young ones. Neither was it part of their plan.
“Fifth columnists have infiltrated the rank and file of the protesters. The Lagos scenario is another cup of tea entirely. We are inclined to believe that the only logical explanation for the carnage in Lagos is the involvement of non-indigenes. This is because the targets chosen for attack depicted an inordinate desire for a pound of flesh, especially the attack on the hallowed palace of the Oba of Lagos while that of TVC, the Nation newspaper office and the house of the mother of Lagos Governor may have been a combination of deliberate misquotation and political motivation. We condemn this wanton destruction.
“We appeal for calm on all sides. We call on the security agencies to spare our young ones. Nigeria cannot afford to exterminate its young generation which constitutes about 60% of its population. They have shown the potentials for leadership. It is the criminals who infiltrated the demonstrators who must be identified. The security agencies must separate the wheat from the chaff. We also suggest the use of non-lethal tools like water cannons and teargas instead of bullets to disperse demonstrators.
“We appeal to protesters to respect the curfew imposed on nine Nigerian states: Lagos, Osun, Rivers, Abia, Edo, Plateau, Ondo, Ekiti and Imo. Dare to struggle, dare to win. Our young ones have struggled and won. This is the time to fall back to be able to assess the level of success. No general will keep advancing ad infinitum. He must stop to fortify his rear and also for reconnaissance exercise. Reconnaissance on the part of current protesters will involve sending feelers to know the thinking of government and what they have done so far in terms of promise of reform. Every war stops at the negotiation table.
“It will be naïve to expect a change of government through demonstrations. This is a democratically elected government and we must wait for the next election which is just around the corner. Those who attempt violent change always throw society into anarchy. The guns are still booming in Libya. Iraq is bleeding. Let us learn from the mistakes of others.”
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)