Saturday, June 19, 2021

June 12 planned protests dangerous – JEPUIN warns

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tiamin rice

The Executive Secretary of Justice and Equity for Peace and Unity Initiative, JEPUIN, Tony Uranta, has warned that street protests planned for June 12 could be hijacked and may end in violence.

June 12 is a significant landmark in the political history of Nigeria and was declared the country’s Democracy Day by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2020.

The declaration came decades after agitations by many Nigerians and civil society groups that the day should be set aside to honour the late Chief M.K.O Abiola, the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 Presidential Election.

The election was annulled by then Military Head of State, now retired Gen. Ibrahim Babangida.

According to reports, some rights activists have called for nationwide protests on the Democracy Day over  challenges in the country.

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Mr Uranta appealed to the organizers of the protests to note that consequences might be dire.

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The JEPUN secretary advised the organizers to engage in other forms of civil action such as  dialogue that would be less prone to violence.

Mr Uranta commended the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, for shelving its planned protest on Saturday.

He urged all youths and civil groups to jettison the idea of street protests, warning that the protests could result in violence.

He said: “Though the myriads of challenges in the country may seem overwhelming, they  are not insurmountable, if all Nigerians will  join forces and encourage the Federal Government and security agencies to do the needful.”

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“The efforts and sacrifices of some Nigerians including leaders of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), who were at the forefront of the  fight for  democracy, would be undermined if youths, for whom they fought,  would take to the streets on June 12 to protest rather than reflect.

“As a member of NADECO/NALINCON, I still have great hopes that the democracy we fought for has come to stay.

“Nigerian youths must begin to think beyond ethnic and religious lines on how to move the nation forward rather than being used by some disgruntled elements to unleash terror on the nation,” he said.

Mr Uranta urged parents, guardians, traditional rulers, leaders of thought and others to discourage their wards, and subjects from  joining in the  protests.

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He said that the protests could be detrimental to all.

The JEPUIN scribe noted the sacrifices of the now deceased June 12 agitators such as Dr Tunji Braithwaite, Dr Frederick Fasheun, retired Commodore Ndubusi Kanu and  Mr Yinka Odumakin.

He urged that their efforts to enshrine democracy, for which they were jailed and pilloried, should not be in vain.

JEPUIN is the premier collective of patriotic Nigerians  determined to do all necessary to keep Nigeria united as a truly just and equitable democracy as foreseen by the  founding fathers.

The organisation, birthed early in 2019,  focuses on building a united Nigeria on the foundation of justice, equity and fairness.

NAN

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