(By Silas Tamuno)-The Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, NIPR, have regretted the sudden descent to anarchy , arson, bloodshed and looting in the past two days of the nationwide protest that was began peacefully and sustained in the past two weeks.
In a press conference addressed by the National President of NIPR, Mallam Mukhtar Sirajo, on the unfortunate turn of events, he said that the Institute condemns unequivocally, the reported shooting of protesters at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos on Wednesday.
According to the statement, “The resort to use of arms against unarmed protesters who were doing nothing other than exercising their guaranteed rights to dissent was against all known tenets of decency, civilization and democracy and therefore unacceptable.
“The reported denial by the Nigerian Army, of the complicity of its officers in the dastardly act, will make more meaning if an immediate inquiry is launched to ascertain who the perpetrators were.
“We equally condemn in no uncertain terms the resort to the hooliganism that ensued afterwards which led to arson, and looting of both public and private properties. It is our firm belief, that the lawlessness has nothing to do with the original objectives of the #EndSARS movement, which we believe to be simply a cry against impunity and a pitch for good governance”.
The Nigerian Institute of Public Relations says it ” identifies with the #EndSARS’ objective, which beyond the hashtag, is a condemnation of impunity, ruthless conducts, and the general lack of respect to due processes by some sections of the nation’s law enforcement architecture, as well as a call for the reform of same.
“The decision by the government to dissolve the SARS, though a step in the right direction, we believe in itself is not a solution to the problem. Far reaching reforms in the nation’s policing architecture that includes review of recruitment process, improvement in welfare and general reorientation from top to bottom, among others, would also go a long way in regenerating citizen’s confidence in the Police.
Going forward, the Institute calls for the improvement of line of communication between government and Nigerians.
The NIPR conveys her most heartfelt sympathy to victims of the shooting as well as all those who suffered one loss or the other to the crisis.