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LAKPROF Calls For Speedy Implementation Of Panel's Recommendations

The League of Akwa Ibom Professionals (LAKPROF) has condemned in strong terms the wave of violence that replaced the peaceful protests by Nigerian youths who embarked on the EndSARS protest, even as it calls for speedy implementation of outcome of the judicial panel recommendations. LAKPROF in a statement signed by its president, Enobong Umoessien PhD, a copy made available to Pioneer Politics, also condemned the killing of innocent and unarmed youths who were exercising their constitutional rights to protest and demand for good governance and a better life in the country. The group, however, identified with the Federal and various state governments for their swift intervention to ensure the return of normalcy in Nigeria LAKPROF, specifically commended the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, for the swift measures put in place to stop further destruction of public and private property in the state, most especially by constituting a judicial panel to investigate police brutality in Akwa Ibom. It urged the government to ensure that the outcome of the investigation is implemented fully and speedily in order to heal psychological, social and economic wounds and stop such future occurrences. According to the statement, destruction of property in any form of lawlessness is not only wrong, but also unnecessary in 21st century Nigeria. It stressed that the legal system and social processes in Nigeria has provided avenues to redress any form of grievance. The statement which reads in part noted that "peaceful protests are provided for in the laws of Nigeria. Wanton destruction and attacks are not. To this end, "the LAKPROF not only dissociates from such act but also condemns them in the strongest terms possible. The property destroyed are capital- human and material - wasted. The group noted, "in a country battling with serious unemployment, insufficient capital accumulation, poor business climate, etc. all of which repudiate systemic attempts at sustainable and inclusive development, any form of destruction and lawlessness is a discount on progress and unwelcome. It noted, "LAKPROF supports the state government in this speedy response which is in line with the aspirations of the majority of Nigerians and the Federal Government of Nigeria. It maintained that the Federal Government has also accepted most of the recommendations of the genuine protesters and has set the machinery in motion to implement relevant policies and programmes to deliver them within practicable time lines. "We support the Federal Government and the Akwa Ibom State Government in these efforts and every member of the LAKPROF has been called upon to contribute in any way possible to ensure speedy success. While appreciating the fact that some of the recommendations or demands of the genuine protesters would require more time than others to deliver, the group urged the authority to engage with the youth so as to encourage and assure them of the goodwill of government and return the country total normalcy quickly. "We advise the government to be faithful and pragmatic to the respective imperatives of situation. Already, SARS has been disbanded; this was an immediate and practical response for example. Let government apply the same principle in delivering on the recommendations of the judicial panel. On advice to the Nigerian youths, the League urged the youth to eschew such model of settling scores or pressing demands, insisting that looting as well as destruction of property is nothing but criminality. "There are more peaceful and legitimate means for communicating with government and we would encourage our youths, or any other sector of our population for that matter, to exhaust these before protests. Though peaceful protests are legal and legitimate, it is wise that they should be a last resort, if we must at all, due to their propensity for abuse The statement added. Recall that Nigerian youths had not long ago, embarked on the #EndSARS protests to drive home their demand for an end to the brutalization, intimidation, harassment, detention, and occasional killing of many young Nigerians by a unit of the Nigeria Police Force known as Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). This, however, led to several acts of lawlessness, disruption of public peace and order and wanton violence which have resulted to indiscriminate looting of shops, malls and ware houses, damage to property and loss of lives in some parts of the country.

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