Tells Govt to convene National Conference

By Martin Opara

Prince Daniel Kanu, coordinator of the one million man march for the Abacha regime in 1996 and a former governorship aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, has condemned the killing of innocent youths for exercising their constitutional right of expression by embarking on peaceful protests to ventilate their feelings about the deplorable state of affairs in the country.

The acclaimed youth mobilizer, who stated this in a release he signed and made available to the press yesterday, recalled that he foresaw what is happening today, 22 years ago, and advised government and stakeholders at all levels then, to make necessary long term provision for addressing the challenges, interests, needs and aspirations of youths, “if not, they will make the country ungovernable”. Rather than listen to the voice of wisdom, I was criticized, persecuted, while the reasons I gave were ignored”.   

“However, 22 years after my prophesy, the country has continued to be shaky with the Niger Delta militants, in the South-South seeking equity, Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) in the South West, and Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in the South East, seeking justice while Boko Haram insurgents in the North East, now a terrorist group, claim, they are seeking retribution for the killing of their leader. The ENDSARS protesters have also joined in the list of agitators”. 

He cautioned the federal and state governments against using guns against unarmed youths, fathers, mothers and children, in view of the long term negative implications of such action locally and internationally.

“What happened on Tuesday 20th October 2020, has further tarnished the image of this administration. The light was deliberately switched off and the cameras disabled before government forces opened fire on the youths and in the dark of the night killed innocent unarmed youths and wounded many”.

He noted that the situation has gone beyond half measures, because the economic hardship, insecurity, inequity, injustice, poverty, lack and deprivation unleashed on the people exacerbated the protests. Hence, government should brace up and listen to the voice of wisdom.

“There is need to pay compensation to victims of prejudicial killings in the country and provide of a level playing ground for all.

“Everybody should be given a sense of belonging as a Nigerian, irrespective of tribe, religion or creed. Equity, justice and fairness should be given prominence at all times and in all cases. The government should also, as a matter of urgent importance, convene a genuine National Conference that will address issues raised by all component parts of the country and implement the outcome to the letter. The Nigeria’s unity and indivisibility should be by dialogue and not at the expense of innocent blood”.