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#EndSARS Anniversary: NEC Warns Against October 20 Protest

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The National Economic Council has warned against October 20 #EndSARS anniversary protest by aggrieved Nigerian citizens.

The council has advised those interested in taking part in the protest to look out for other lawful alternatives to express their grievances and suspend the planned anniversary, noting that the protest might again be hijacked by hoodlums.

Naija News understands that NEC gave the advisory in a statement released on Friday, October 15.

Recounting various actions and inactions already taken by federal and state governments in addressing the gruesome killings of citizens and harassments that led to the 2020 protests, NEC opined that staging another protest might heighten the current security situation in the country.

The council, urged the organizers of the protest to lay low, noting that the recommendations of panels are already at various stages of implementation, including the setup of victims’ compensation funds.

NEC stressed that opportunistic criminals may take advantage of the exercise to cause mayhem at such protest events and venues.

The statement read; “While appreciating the role of lawful peaceful protests in the advancement of public discourse under democratic governance, the National Economic Council strongly advise those planning public protests across the country to mark the anniversary of the #EndSARS, to consider other lawful alternative means of engagement.

“This is because of the current security situation across the country and the possibility of such protests being hijacked by armed hoodlums and other opportunistic criminals to cause mayhem at such protest events and venues. Council, therefore, urges the organisers to reconsider their plan.

“NEC would also like to point out the various actions already taken by Federal and State Governments to address the grievances that led to the 2020 protests.

“The disbandment of SARS; broad police reforms; establishment of judicial panels of inquiries to investigate allegations of human rights violations by members of the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies; recommendations of panels which are already at various stages of implementation, including the setup of Victims Compensation Funds from which several victims have received payments of sums awarded to them by the panels; and prosecution of police personnel indicted by the panels.

“These are commendable actions that ought to be taken to a logical conclusion in a peaceful atmosphere.

“Organisers of the planned protests should explore the various channels of communication with governments at various levels to advance their positions and avert the breakdown of law and order that may result from such public protests.”

Naija News reports that the NEC is presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, and has the 36 state governors and Ministers in charge of the economy as well as the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, as members.

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