Against the backdrop of escalating violence, willful destruction of property and looting, on the heels of the #EndSARS protests, the Chancellor of Gregory University Uturu, Prof Gregory Ibe has appealed for peace.
Speaking in reaction to media reports of escalation of violence across the nation, purportedly as a result of hijacking of the #EndSARS protests by hoodlums, Prof Ibe advocated for restrain and caution “to prevent further destruction of critical infrastructure and subsequent exasperation of an already tense atmosphere.
According to Prof Ibe, I condemn in strongest terms alleged hijacking of the #EndSARS protest by hoodlums, who subsequently have embarked on massive destruction of private and public infrastructure. In apparent disregard to the mournful mood of the nation, occasioned by the tragic loss of innocent protesters, these acts of arson have been proliferated across the nation with increasing propensity.
He thereby enjoined perpetuators of these unpatriotic acts to restrain while allowing for peaceful resolution of the issues being contended for by the #EndSARS protesters. In his words, I join both President Muhammadu Buhari and my Governor Dr Okezie Ikpeazu in appealing for cessation of all hostilities to create enabling environment for peaceful settlement of the issues that precipitated the protest in the first place.
I therefore raise and wave the flag of peace enjoining everyone to respect the right of others to grieve over the loss of their loved relatives, heal from the tragedy and obtain closure in the process.
Contending that wanton destruction of public infrastructure will not be beneficial to anyone, Prof Ibe concluded by enjoining Abians in particular to rise up in protection of public assets by organising local watch sessions and vigilante groups to secure such facilities.
According to him, I also support the call by my Governor Dr Okezie Ikpeazu for security agents and our local vigilante groups to deploy conventional lawful means in preventing escalation of all forms of violence while protecting hard earned public infrastructure from destruction. He argued that the state needs to remain attractive to all forms of foreign and local investments to grow her economy,a desire that cannot be achieved in an environment of hostility.
Correspondents report that since the unfortunate shooting of #EndSARS protesters by yet to be ascertained uniformed soldiers in Lekki Toll Plaza, the media has been awash with reports of escalating violence, massive destruction and looting of properties across the nation.
Sleek Ogbonnaya Ogwo, ANIPR