…Seeks military, civilian cooperation

 As the judicial panels of inquiry into alleged abuse of fundamental human rights of Nigerians by the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, commences in some states, Conference of Civil Society of Nigeria has called for calm, understanding and cooperation between citizens and the Armed Forces in order to preserve national peace.

Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday, the Chairperson of Conference of Civil Society of Nigeria, Comrade Adams Otakwu said the world is watching out for the verdicts on the various episodes of the crisis that recently engulfed the nation.

He declared that one of such curious episodes which must not be swept under carpet is the Lekki Gate episode.

As watch dog of society, we are very concerned and will be keenly monitoring the transparency of the proceeding of the Panel of Inquiry by the Lagos State Government, as well as the objectivity with which expert information, forensic and ballistic examination and gathered intelligence will be analyzed and reported by the panel, in hope that the total truth about the incidence will be unraveled.

“We hence call for calmness, peace, restraint and a halt to blame trading while we await this report. 

He reassured Nigerians and the global community the civil society shall not rest on their oars once the report is out.

“Any parties indicted must be made to face sanctions and the wrath of the law. Any military or security personnel indicted of misconduct must be appropriately and decisively dealt with.

“Any governmental or non-governmental organization found to have doctored facts and inflamed tempers, must be blacklisted as enemy of the state.

“Any media organization found liable of infractions and arbitration of professionalism must be charged for attempting to incite a full-scale civil war.

“Any individual or groups discovered to have pedaled information and news that lacked merit, credibility, authenticity and veracity, must be brought under the sledge hammer of justice. No one is above the law and no culprit must escape justice.”

While stressing on the need for calmness and peace, he declared that in maintaining this calmness and peace, we must not lose sight of our common threats he described as those agents of destabilization and disunity, who took advantage of the hitherto peaceful protest and are still out to perpetrate violence, looting and pandemonium.

We must collectively confront these threats, knowing that such obstinacy and utter delinquency are hardly left unconfronted anywhere in the world.”

“In the circumstances, we cannot wholly surmount these threats without the complementary efforts of men and officers of the armed forces who have been providing Military Aid to civil authorities, since the police and other internal security agencies got overstretched, especially when the relationship between our police and our protesting youths seemed ‘frosty.’ 

Comrade Otaku added that it is very imperative to build mutual understanding and cooperation between civil societies, citizen groups and the armed forces, rather than mutual intimidation between the armed forces and the citizens.

While we owe it a duty as citizens and Civil Society to keep barking over any iota of societal ills, we expect the military to be resilient, redoubtable and resolute in defending and preserving the Soul of our country.

“The supreme value of any nation is the wellbeing of her citizens and the strength of her armed forces. Never must this value be compromised or eroded in Nigeria.

“We must resist the temptation of denigrating and stereotyping our citizens under any guise, and we must stop projecting gloomy portrait and cynicism about our armed forces when they undertake their statutory roles.”