By Emmanuel Mogbede
Abuja, Oct. 17, 2020 A group, under the umbrella of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Young Stakeholders, has called on the #ENDSARS protesters to leave the streets to give the Federal Government time to meet their demands.
Mr Aliyu Shehu, spokesman of the group, made the call at a news conference on Saturday at the APC National Secretariat in Abuja.
He, however, said that Nigerians should not to see the ongoing #ENDSARS protest in major cities across the federation as against the government of President Muhammad Buhari.
This, he said, was because police brutality which the protesters were protesting against does not recognise political affiliation when it occurs.
Shehu appealed to the protesting youths to leave the streets for their houses and places or businesses to avoid putting themselves and others at risk.
“Let us leave the streets and go back home, if possible, form civil organisations that will engage government even better.
“Let us not make other people suffer; we need not block roads as people with emergencies are bound to use the roads.
“We need not ground commercial activities as people need to eat, we should not be the monsters we are trying to fight.
“We acknowledge the fact that these protests, which have become sustained despite government agreeing to the demands is as a result of the long years of mistrust between the government and the people,” he said.
Shehu added that the Buhari-led government was committed and already showing the desire to bridge that gap and right the wrongs of many years of past governments.
This, he said, was the reason the group was calling for the understanding of young members and supporters of the APC not to see the protests as against government.
“It is on this note also that we want to call on our fellow Nigerians who are still on the streets protesting not to see this protest as an end, but a means to an end.
“The right to protest is ours; no government can strip us of that power and this government has demonstrated clear understanding of these rights by continuously allowing protests to go on so long as they remain peaceful, “he said.
Shehu urged the protesters to leave the streets, adding that they were first Nigerians before any other partisan affiliation.
He said that the group would continue to be committed to using all political resources available to it to ensure that government delivered all it had promised and timely too.
He further said that the press conference was one of the group’s many planned activities to engage concerned government agencies to ensure compliance with the promises made so far.
He added that the protesting youths should leave the streets to give government a chance to work on its promises.
“Any further discomfort or even loss of life cannot be justified; we ask our fellow youths, to please leave the streets for their houses and places of work or businesses.
“We ask them to stop putting themselves and others at risk, we want no further deaths; there is no need for any more bloodshed.
“As young stakeholders of the governing party, we promise to put enough pressure on the government to ensure that these reforms are speedy, complete and comprehensive.
“Our fellow Nigerian youths, tomorrow is still very bright. We don’t want to win the battle and lose the war; let us not allow people from within and outside with ulterior motives hijack the struggle for selfish gains,” Shehu said.
Naija247news reports that the #ENDSARS protesters are protesting against police brutality in the country and asking the Federal Government to reform the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) among other things.