A senior lawyer, Afe Babalola, has said killings and the deployment of soldiers as well as the imposition of curfew would not end the ongoing nationwide protest against police brutality.
In a statement made available to journalists in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital on Wednesday, the founder of the Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, said curfew imposed in some states to quell the crisis would not also work.
Many states including Lagos, Osun, Edo, Ogun, Ondo and Ekiti have declared curfews to stem the protests which turned violent in some states, mainly after security operatives attacked protesters.
With events unfolding on Wednesday, the curfew seemed not to have prevented the protesters from going out on the streets despite reports of shootings and killings by security personnel.
According to Mr Babalola, the curfew would be ineffective because the atmosphere was already charged and needed presidential intervention for it to simmer and bring the violent crises to a halt.
He said President Muhammadu Buhari should alleviate the pains of the suffering masses by addressing the nation about his plans to correct perceived injustice being complained about by the youth.
“Protests against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, otherwise known as SARS or FSARS have spread to all parts of Nigeria and beyond,” he said.
“The deployment of soldiers to the streets is not the answer. The imposition of curfews is certainly not the answer. The use of live bullets and other lethal weapons against protesting youths is not the answer. The killing of protesting youths is also not the answer.
“A protest both in fact and in law is analogous to a message which an injured toe sends to the brain complaining about unbearable pain. The response by the brain and the head is normally to take steps to treat the pain to the toe. Any injured person who refuses to take steps to treat pains to any part of the body does so at his own peril.
“The President is the head of the nation, the youths are parts of the body. I urge the President as the head to address the youths and offer remedial steps to be taken to alleviate the pains.”
Mr Babalola, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, also said he had warned at the inception of the protests that quick intervention of the president would help in resolving the crisis, saying this could still be done to save the country from an imminent conflagration.
“I remember that as soon as the protests began, I had issued a press release in a similar vein on the issue appealing to the President to please address the issue at that time,” he said.
“I now again plead with him to address the root causes of the pain which the youth are complaining about.”
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