By Oluwakemi Ishola
The Chairman Senate Committee on Local Content and lawmaker representing Oyo Central Senatorial District in the red chamber, Senator Teslim Folarin on Wednesday condemned gruesome killings of civilians and officers of Nigeria Police during #ENDSARS protests in Oyo State and other parts of the country. He described the killings as unfortunate and avoidable.
Oloye Folarin in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity – Com. YSO Olaniyi, said his heart was torn to shreds and deeply felt the pains of the families that lost their loved ones. He pleaded with Nigerian youths to be calm in the face of the protests against police brutality in the country, adding that the Federal and State Governments were already responding to their genuine outcries.
The statement read in part:
“I’m standing with Nigerian youths on #EndPoliceBrutality, #PoliceReform and #GoodGovernance. The protests were peaceful and yielding positive results until the agents of darkness hijacked the struggle. There is no justification for maiming, killings, looting, raping, harassment of fellow citizens and destructions of public infrastructures, all in the name of protests. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Youths should not take laws into their hands. Attacking public properties and facilities is highly unpatriotic. The infrastructures belong to all Nigerians. To destroy is easy but to rebuild will take years. Therefore, let us not destroy our collective heritage while trying to right the wrongs of others”.
“The legislative arm of the government has been very proactive in this struggle. Yesterday, the Nigerian Senate mandated the appropriate authorities to do the needful in the best interests of Nigerians. The NASS has ordered the Police to operate strictly in accordance with the rules of engagement appropriate in a democratic environment. We also urged the Federal Government to faithfully and comprehensively implement all the five demands of the #EndSARS movement and protesters with necessary timelines to rekindle confidence in government”.
“Furthermore, I must say that curfew imposed by some state governments was not to shut up #ENDSARS protesters but to allow security officials to immediately restore peace and orderliness as well as to arrest hoodlums and political miscreants that have hijacked the peaceful protests in order to perpetuate evil acts”.
“While we await President Mohammad’s Buhari to address the nation, I appeal to Nigerian youths to pause protests and embrace dialogue. No war was ever settled in the battlefield” Folarin said.
The three-term federal lawmaker while assuring that he would work with all key stakeholders to ensure the security of lives and property of the people of Oyo Central and Oyo State at large, called on traditional rulers, religious leaders and other stakeholders to continue to urge youths to maintain peace and leave the streets in order to avoid further escalation of the protests.