A group of eminent elders rose from a meeting in Abuja yesterday calling on all stakeholders to exercise caution in respect of the ongoing protests by youths over the excesses of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, of the Nigerian Police Force.
The elders, under the aegis of the Nigerian Discussion Group issued a position paper signed by their leader, Alh Musa Maigida Abdu, in which they called on both protesters and the government to tread softly to prevent the protest from snowballing into a bigger crisis.
The elders fear that if not properly addressed, the protest could instigate instability that may not serve the interest of both the protesters and the authorities, and called on both sides to reason with one another.
According to the elders, “at this time of our national life, we all must avoid actions that could undermine our socio-economic development which is not good for the government and the governed.
“Where there is no peace, there cannot be development. A situation where people cannot go to the office, market place or work place is uncalled for,” their statement said.
It said also that a situation where protesters are given free food, free transportation and free ambulance for medical aid portends danger and therefore there is need for both government and the youth to come togeter and resolve the problem immediately.
“We therefore suggest that government and some elders in the country should invite the youths and their supporters to find amicable solutions for a lasting peace to reign.”
The group leader, Alh M. M. Abdu, specifically observed that “Nigerians should not make the mistake of believing that we have friends, because by every standard, we are so blessed that the world envies us.”