The group said they are deeply worried by the recent situation in Nigeria where the peaceful agitation by youth had turned violent with lives lost and properties destroyed.
It stated: “This development is very sad, considering the fact that the original concern of the protest (which was to end police brutality) was shared by almost all until it assumed the current sad dimension.
“This has left us without any other option than to urge on all Civil Societies, Citizen Groups, our vibrant Youths, the Social and traditional media, Nigerians in Diaspora, State Governments, Federal Government and all Nigerians to consider the soul of our country and quickly douse the tension.
“This is our only country as most of us have no dual citizenship. The country belongs to all of us. We are equal stakeholders and we must not allow the country to go aflame. Let’s collectively (as citizens and government) preserve the soul of Nigeria and own the country.
“We welcome the expression of commitment on the part of the Federal Government to meet the five demands of the protest as well as the willingness to engage with citizens and groups. We urge the Government to march every word with practical actions. This will build greater public trust and confidence.”
The civil society organisation also called on the state governors to immediately set up panels to probe complaints of police brutality.
It added: “As we await justice for victims of police brutality with about 13 states having constituted their panels of enquiry, we urge the rest of the concerned states to respond promptly, as well as pay urgent attention to the Victims Support Fund.”
While condemning in very strong terms the brutality by the Police or any other form of brutality in Nigeria, the group stressed that the nation must demonstrate to the international community that as Giant of Africa it is capable of resolving its internal crisis amicably, without resorting to violence.
Furthermore, it said: “We call for an end to the protest that has turned violent, in order to avoid it being ultimately hijacked and misused by sinister Interests
“We must not allow the further loss of any single blood again. The best way forward now is meaningful engagement between Government and citizens on pragmatic measures to end police brutality, ensure good governance, reduce poverty, create employment, tackle Insecurity and end corruption. We stand for the reform, re-professionalisation and improved welfare of the police and other security agencies.”
It also called on the media to demonstrate the highest level of ethics, decency and professionalism by offering very balanced reportage and avoid the temptation of being divisive at this moment of great anxiety, saying: “We call on our religious and traditional leaders to raise their voices against the violence and appeal for calm across the country, as we all reaffirm hope In the Nigerian project.”
Credit: Nigerian Tribune