By Peter Duru, Makurdi
The Middle Belt Advancement Project, MiDBAP, has described the recent #ENDSARS /#EndInsecurityNow protests that rocked the country as a national wake up call.
The group called for deliberate efforts to ensure the presence of youths in all leadership positions at the federal, state and local government levels of the country to assuage the anger of the youths over years of neglect.
National Coordinator MiDBAP, Comrade Benedict Idoko who made the call Friday in a press conference in Makurdi pointed out that the protests also “provides the Nigerian State a window of opportunity to address and correct this undeserved maltreatment meted on this vital section of our society.”
In a text titled “The Protests and Matters Arising” Comrade Idoko said, “the recent twin protests tagged #EndSARS and #EndInsecurityNow, the later staged under the auspices of the Coalition of Northern Groups, CNG, led by the group’s leader, Alhaji Nastura Ashir Shariff, across the 19 northern States in Nigeria is a national wakeup call from youths in Nigeria.
“The northern coalition has been persistence in this regard and remains the single most consistent voice of the ordinary northerner, the youths in particular.
“The fact that the drivers of both protests are the army of youths that have overtime and in one way or the other suffered neglect and left unattended to for reason best known to the “Nigerian system”, is an alarm bell so loud for all to hear.
“Thus, these twin protests have once again underscored the national question bothering on nationhood, human right and justice and national security.
“Both protest once again highlighted the highhandedness of security agencies in particular, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, an elite unit within the Nigeria police and worsening insecurity ravaging northern region and Nigeria in general.
“Attempt at appeasing the #EndSARS protesters to halt their agitation following the disbanding of SARS through a press briefing by the Inspector General of Police, IGP, fell short of their demands and rightly so as much is needed to be done in line with public opinion.
“Furthermore, neither the IGP press briefing nor the eventual national broadcast by the President addressed the persistent crippling cases of insurgency, banditry, kidnapping among other demands in northern Nigeria, the Middle Belt inclusive, as spearheaded by the CNG in their protest.
Continuing, he said, “we at MiDBAP therefore call for the review of current security architecture and strategy to feature a robust security blueprint by both Federal and State governments.
“A deliberate effort to reflect youth presence at all leadership positions and in the design and implementation of both public and private policy is necessary.
“Also needed are concrete and visible steps to eliminate avenues often used for mischievous profiling of any ethnic nationality and religious segment of our society as witnessed in some cities during the #EndSARS protests including the FCT.
“Save for the swift and patriotic move to halt the CNG protest across northern region, the nationwide twin protests would have taken a different dimension.
“We, commend the CNG for its decision to halt #EndInsecurityNow protest in the entire northern region and the Middle Belt in particular as this deft and timely action by the northern coalition scuttled what seems to be a sinister plot by some interests, who interfered and hijacked the #EndSARS peaceful protests creating a chaotic atmosphere with a sudden ethno-religious colouration.
“The obvious intention is to trigger a breakdown of law and order by provoking retaliation from the northern region to further aggravate the riotous atmosphere and create a state of anarchy in our dear country, Nigeria.
“This is based on our own internal crisis analysis and management system on the pattern and dimension over the turn of the protests,” he added.