By EricJames Ochigbo/Femi Ogunshola
Abuja, Nov. 17, 2020 The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus in the House of Representatives has called on the Federal Government to handle matters arising from the #EndSARS protest with utmost caution and respect for the youth.
The caucus in a statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja by its leader, Rep. Kingsley Chinda (PDP-Rivers), the group urged the government to follow due process and all democratic principles in dealing with those arrested on their alleged involvements.
The lawmakers said that the rule of law should be observed in whatever measures taken against those arrested.
“In the last few weeks the media have been inundated with news reports of actions taken by government against #EndSARS protesters and alleged supporters.
“These actions, include seizure of Passports/Travel documents, freezing of bank accounts, court orders sought and obtained by the government against citizens, de-registration of companies perceived to be supporters of #EndSars by the Corporate Affairs Commission and arrests and prosecution of some genuine protesters.
“Although it is the constitutional responsibility of government to maintain law and order, we believe that this purposive duty imposed by the constitution must be discharged in a manner that accords respect for the rights of citizens and within the bounds of the Rule of Law,” it said.
The lawmakers cautioned against muddling up the genuine protesters with the subsequent hijacking of the protests by hoodlums who wreaked havocs including arson and looting of public and private property worth billions of naira.
The caucus stated that attempts to equate the #EndSars protesters with the looting, vandalism and criminality exhibited in some cities by hoodlums was not helping the situation.
The legislators said that the EndSARS protest though disruptive was largely peaceful until hoodlums were procured to disrupt the peaceful protest.
The caucus called on the government to show good faith to the youth and protesters by refraining from freezing of accounts and seizure of travel documents.
They called for unhindered opportunity the various Judicial Panels of Enquiry to conclude their investigations.
The Reps urged President Muhhanadu Buhari to respect and protect the inalienable right to peaceful protest of citizens.