The candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) for senatorial bye-election in Lagos East, Mr. Tokunbo Abiru, Tuesday regretted how hoodlums hijacked the #ENDSARS protests nationwide, which had culminated in the loss of lives and destruction of properties.
Abiru, a former Executive Director in First Bank and immediate past CEO of Polaris Bank, however pleaded with the youths with genuine grievances to take advantage of dialogue and other peaceful means to engage the federal and state governments.
He made this suggestion in a statement by his media office issued on Tuesday. He noted that due to the violence, the Governor of Lagos State was forced to declare a 24-hour curfew to put an end to unnecessary bloodletting, violent attacks and destruction of public assets.
Abiru, an economist and chartered accountant who spent 32 years in the private sector, is contesting the senatorial bye-election scheduled to hold on October 31.
He had earlier canvassed comprehensive reforms of the Nigeria Police as one of the strategies to stop the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) from brutalising youths carrying a laptops or holding android phones.
He had also urged the federal government to fully implement the report of the Presidential Panel on the Reforms of SARS, which according to him would go a long way to change the public perception of the Nigeria Police.
As hoodlums hijacked the protests in Abuja, Benin and Lagos this week, Abiru condemned the violent attacks that led to destruction of public assets and attacks on police officers, lawful protesters and fellow Nigerians.
He said: “I watched videos of arson, carnage and gory scenes of violence with deep sadness. This ugly development depicts a high level of dehumanisation. In every sense, this is unacceptable, and it must stop forthwith in the interest of peace and unity.”
On this ground, the APC candidate, passionately, pleaded with the protesting youths with genuine grievances to give room for dialogue with the federal and state governments to secure governments’ commitment to police reforms.
“The protesting youths with genuine grievance should, as a matter of urgency, exploit this window, at least, as the first step to build a new policing order and make police authorities accountable across the federation,” Abiru explained.