By Charles Nwaoguji
The Organised Private Sector (OPS) has called on Federal Government to have Dialogue with the youths for immediate end to an orgy of violence, killings, looting and wanton destruction of properties in the country.
They said, it is rather unfortunately, a hitherto peaceful, legitimate protest has been hijacked by thugs and miscreants, resulting in attack on businesses, destruction of government properties, burning of police stations and correctional centres to free prisoners.
“We recognize the right of citizens to peaceful legitimate protests, but we condemn and are totally against the wanton destruction of properties and looting by hoodlums who have hijacked the peaceful protests.
“We cannot sit by and allow the looting and other criminal acts by hoodlums to go on unchecked. We must work with others to put an end to the violence and lawlessness we are now witnessing,” they said.
The National President of Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Hajiya Saratu Iya Aliyu in statement made available to Skybirdnews Group, recently, said the OPS are equally concerned about the deployment of military forces to confront the protesters which resulted in unsavoury consequences as witnessed especially at Lekki Toll area in Lagos recently.
“We are therefore calling for an end to the involvement of the military in current situation. The impact of the crisis and wanton destruction of property as being witnessed is clear for all to see. Billions have been lost in arson and looting going on. Business operations have also been seriously impacted,” Saratu Iya Aliyu pointed out.
She said that NACCIMA’s efforts as a National Chamber, to help project our country as a favourable and investment friendly destination to our Business partners abroad, and other Foreign investors over the years is now suffering a serious setback, adding that at a period we are still struggling with the negative impact of COVID-19 on our economy and working on economic recovery, we must not, by acts of commission or omission, aggravate our economic situation.
“We must therefore step back and work together to end this violent crisis. Towards this end we are calling for frank Dialogue between the leaders of the protesting youth and various arms of government at all levels; including State and Federal governments to douse the tension,” she stated.
She observed that the prompt agreement on the initial 5-point demands of the Protesting Youth including disbandment of SARS is a reflection of possibilities of what can be achieved through peaceful and meaning Diaogue on the various contending issues.
She called on the stakeholders not to stand by and watch the current crisis spiral out of control and result in anarchy and lawlessness.” We have the patriotic duty to join other stakeholders for an end to the crisis, not just because of our businesses, but because of our nation at this historic junction and for the sake of posterity.”
She said that the youths must also now step forward for engagement and dialogue, in a constructive manner, to be part of the solution and the search for peace. We must mobilize ourselves and join others to urgently put an end to the crisis.