The All Progressives Congress has appealed for peace and normalcy, saying that the #EndSARS protests should be halted for the collective corporate interest of the country.
Mai Mala Buni, Chairman, APC Caretaker and Extra-ordinary National Convention Planning Committee, made the appeal in a statement on Saturday in Abuja.
Buni, who is also the governor of Yobe, said the party was saddened by the tragedy that had erupted in some major cities in the country following the #EndSARS protest.
”The APC is saddened by the unfortunate tragedy that had enveloped some parts of the country in the last few days by hoodlums, who took over what was supposed to be a peaceful protest against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police.
“We, therefore, plead with Nigerians to halt the #EndSARS protests for the collective corporate interest of our dear country. We have no other country than Nigeria,” he said.
He added that the APC was committed to the ideals of democracy and recognised the inalienable rights of citizens to demand for changes through peaceful means guided by the rule of law.
He said citizens are at liberty to denounce conditions that trampled on their liberties, freedom of association, freedom of speech and well being.
He said that the party acknowledged the peaceful commencement of the #EndSARS protests until it became violent, after destructive and disorderly hoodlums regrettably seized the opportunity to unleash terror, killing and destroying government and private properties.
Buni condoled with the families of those that lost their loved ones and prayed Almighty God to grant them the fortitude to bear the loss.
He also empathised with those whose properties were destroyed and prayed that Almighty God would replenish them.
“We pray we never experience such avoidable and unnecessary horrendous carnage in our dear fatherland,” Buni said.
He said it was, however, gladdening that President Muhammadu Buhari had quickly responded and disbanded SARS as demanded by the protesting youths.
He added that the APC welcomed the decision for comprehensive reforms, including the review of salaries of the Nigeria Police officers as announced by President Buhari.
The APC caretaker committee chairman called on all to reflect and embrace peace, saying that a time of national tragedy such as this, should not be a time for playing politics.
He stressed that it was not a time to play to the gallery to score cheap political points, but a time for introspection with Nigeria’s interest first.
He further called on all to come together irrespective of political, religious and ethnic differences, to rally round the government to build sanity and strengthen peace and unity to ensure the corporate existence of the country.
“To our youths, your message has been heard loud, clear, and well understood.
“The next stage that must follow is the needed engagement with all the structures of government to address all the concerns around the protest and effectiveness of government in general.
“It is imperative for the youths to extricate themselves from the activities of criminal elements who have taken over the protests and perpetrating violence, destruction of property and attacking innocent Nigerians.
“As a party, we will take every step to support the government to bring this unwholesome situation to an immediate end,” he said.
He added that the APC would ensure that all those found culpable were made to face the wrath of the law.
Buni, however noted that it was the desire of all Nigerians that a peaceful atmosphere returned to the country for the good of all.
“The party therefore, joined President Buhari in appealing to our youths to call off the protests for peace and normalcy to return to our dear country,” he said.
He further noted that the more united we were as a people, the more peace we had and the more secured and progressive we would become in the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the #EndSARS protesters were demanding an end to police brutality and reform of the Nigeria Police Force among other things.