By Adejumo Enock
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus in the House of Representatives, has urged the federal government to be careful while tackling issues related to the just concluded #EndSARS protest with caution and also show respect to youths in the country.
They advised the federal government to adopt all democratic principles in dealing with those that were arrested in relation to the EndSARS protest, adding that rule of law must be observed in whatever course the judgement wants to take.
House Minority Leader, Kingsley Chinda while stating the position of the PDP caucus on Tuesday in a press statement titled “Post-EndSARS Protest: We Must Tread Carefully and Respect the Leaders of Tomorrow”, the warned the Federal Government calls for the observance of democratic principles.
The minority leader said, “with trepidation” that the media had been flooded with reports of activities indulge by the government in handling the case of #EndSARS protesters and supposed supporters.
“These actions, which include seizure of passports/travel documents, freezing of bank accounts, court orders sought and obtained by the government against citizens, de-registration of companies perceived to be supporters of #EndSars by the Corporate Affairs Commission and arrests and prosecution of some genuine protesters, show the insidious and ridiculous length the government has gone in muzzling the rights and freedoms of citizens, whose only offence is that they dared to speak truth to power and to a government that has become tone-deaf, on auto-drive and, of course, blind to the sufferings of Nigerians”.
“Though it is the constitutional responsibility of government to maintain law and order, we believe that this purposive duty imposed by the Constitution must be discharged in a manner that accords respect for the rights of citizens and within the bounds of the rule of law. So far, the actions of the government speak volume of the way it continues to treat the citizens with disdain, stoking the flames of anarchy that would invariably devour the relationship between it and the citizens.
“When a government persists on the path of unreasonable and irrational actions, the tension that ensues between it and the citizens can only grow into civil resistance of citizens who consider it as an enemy and not partners in nation-building.
“We do hope that the government retraces its steps and engages our youths as partners and not dissidents that must be treated with scorn and discredited for voicing their opinions on the many unfortunate happenstances in our country. This government must free itself from fifth columnists bent on derailing our democracy.”
They cautioned the government against confusing genuine protesters that had very credible agitation with hoodlums that later hijacked the protests.