Being the statement by the Akwa Ibom State Government on the developments from the #EndSARS Protests in Uyo
The national protest by citizens against police brutality statrted in our country few weeks ago, with a concomitant spread to different states of the federation. About a week ago, youths gathered at the globe roundabout, Uyo to register their solidarity with victims of police brutality and to draw the attention of the world to the prevalence of these issues. The Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel addressed the protesters who were very peaceful. Thereafter, the protesters shifted base to the city center and have since remained very peaceful.
In response, the Governor, has swiftly taken steps to assuage the protesters by setting up and inaugurating a Judicial Panel of Investigation.
As at today, we have witnessed scenarios where the protests were clearly hijacked by hoodlooms who were attacking public and private property and looting business premises, which confirm the earlier intelligence available to us on the planned hijack of the peaceful demonstrations. To this end, we appeal to all genuine protesting groups to please suspend their protest due to the obvious hijack by negative minded elements. The protesters and other victims should rather use the opportunity provided by the Panel of Investigation, which sitting will commence on 26th October, 2020 at the High Court complex, FULGA road, Uyo.
We cannot therefore allow strangers to invade our state and destroy our public and private property, which we laboured strenuously to build and acquire over decades.To allow these unpatriotic elements to destroy private or public property, will be to surrender our land to evil plunder and we will have ourselves to blame, when all of this is over. Like we have seen in other parts of the country, today we witnessed the protests take a violent turn, where innocent citizens have been brutalized and property destroyed. The people whom the peaceful demonstration sought to protect have become the victims of violent protest, because in a mob action, no one is safe.
As the curfew imposed by the Governor subsists, We ask all Akwa Ibom people to be on red alert and report to the police and other security agencies, any suspicious movements and persons. We are trusting that God, who has been our help in ages past and our hope for years to come, will continue to keep our state and citizens safe. Akwa Ibom is all we have as God’s piece of real estate for us and we must take practical steps to protect our collective heritage.
Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem
Secretary to the State Government
Akwa Ibom State