By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
In the wake of the ongoing protests by Nigerian youths, demanding police reform, the Director General of the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF), Lukman Mohd Salihu, has offered President Muhammadu Buhari some solutions over how to address the ongoing crisis in the country.
In a statement issued yesterday in Abuja, Lukman urged President Buhari to commence total overhaul of the governance and leadership system, especially in critical arms of government.
He also asked leaders of the party starting from President Buhari to move quickly to restore peace across the country through civic engagement.
According to him, #ENDSARS protest has been peaceful until when it was hijacked by persons who didn’t mean well for Nigeria, adding that leaders irrespective of political, geographical, and ethnic divide, must respond to the National emergency and stop burning anger of the youth.
Lukman called out the ministers of critical ministries and agencies that should have stepped in to shield the President from needless exposure in the wake of the protest woefully shirked their responsibility to the President and Nigerians.
“While it is not time for blame game, 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.
“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”
The PGF DG said the All Progressives Congress is fast losing electoral value and credibility, now made worse by mismanagement of the #ENDSARS protest, including the poor performance of ministers, including those of youths development, humanitarian and disaster management, police affairs, interior, and many others.
“It is important to also state that the current crisis is eroding the moral credibility of our party, APC and our political leaders.
“A situation where lives of our leaders are being threatened and our party and our government demonstrate 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”, he said.