The Pure Heart Islamic Foundation of Nigeria, PHF, has called on the protesting youths across the country to eschew all forms of violence and hold peace sacrosanct.
This is contained in a release signed by the body’s national coordinator, Mallam AbdulGaniy Dhikrullah on Tuesday.
The statement reads, ” for more than two weeks now, following several years of extortions, illegal detentions and killings of innocent, law-abiding citizens, a spontaneous wave of youth-led protests have erupted across the country.
“Although, for several years, attempts have been made in the past to de-establish the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, but with no positive results.
“The world and of course, Nigeria and Nigerians have heard clearly the agitation of the youths. It is praiseworthy that the youths of this Nation through the #EndSARS campaign came out together as one voice to put an end to brutality, extortion, and extra judicial killings as perpetrated by members of the Nigeria Police Force.
“Despite success and support achieved by the protesters and with the government accepting their demands, the protest persists.
“As a youth organisation championing the cause of youths, the Pure Heart Islamic Foundation (PHF) salutes the courage and sacrifice of youths and other members of the general public who have made positive contributions to the call for an end to Police brutality.
“To the government and protesters, there is need to be cautious so as not to drive the nation to the precipice of the abyss.
“The government must do all it could to arrest and prosecute men of the SARS who have blood of innocent citizens on their hands. Handsome compensations should be paid to the families of those who may have been harmed or killed. This is very important to reassure the populace of government readiness in addressing the brutality of the Nigeria Police.
According to the release, mere disbandment of the SARS is not enough; there should be total and holistic overhauling of the whole system. Reformed intentions and training should be engraved.
” Beyond the proscription of the SARS, government should address the corruption, indiscipline and poor human right records in the police force. Government should also embark on strategic and institutional reform of the Police force. If the institution has modicum of integrity, whatever comes out of it will be healthy.
” At this point, the government should be commended, at least for now, for restraining the security agencies from using unnecessary force to disperse peaceful protesters.
” Nevertheless, no matter the level of provocation, the government should resist the temptation of using force in interfering in the protest in order to protect our democracy.
” The honest and dedicated ones among the police should be encouraged through improve welfare, awards and handsome remunerations.
” The government should constantly invite the protesters for engagement aimed at finding a common ground. Social media interactions should be consistently used by government to press home messages of assurance and peace”.
The Foundation salutes the doggedness and focus of our youth and the intelligence and cooperation deployed so far, in the wake of this protest. We must emphasise that we at PHF strongly condemn the killings of peaceful protesters.
At this juncture, we advice our youth to give the government the benefit of the doubt, by allowing it carry out the reforms as promised.
The best we can do at this time, is to listen to voice of reasoning and wisdom, by not allowing unintended to happen to the sincere motive of protesters. We are only with you if this is applied.
We join other well meaning Nigerians in calling our ever gallant youth to make peace sancrosanct in their agitations, while eschewing all forms of violence, and restrategizing to ensure Nigeria and Nigerian youths can reap maximum benefits from these sacrifices.
With the situation today, it is apparent that hoodlums have hijacked the protest. Blocking roads and highways, destroying properties of fellow citizens, burning down police stations, attacking correctional facilities to free prisoners are signs that Endsars strategy has failed, and there is need to end the protests and re-strategize for further dialogue.*
As for the rest of our demands besides #EndSARS, we all should understand that credible and lasting change is a gradual process, and does not come overnight. The challenges bedeviling our country have been planted more than 60years, germinated and branched overtime, to what we are witnessing today. However slow, this current government, like the previous ones, has taken huge steps at addressing this challenges.
We will strongly encourage the protesters, especially the youth, that if and when the government is ready to establish the unit to replace SARS, we should make efforts to be part of it.From now on, we must be involved.
To us, all lives are precious and must be protected by the government and it’s security agencies.
We call on various religious leaders to persuade both the youths and the government to resolve this amicably at roundtable.
History will never forgive those that destroyed and forget those that built. Nigeria will come out of this current challenges in peace.
We take solace in the words of Allah, who says, “Do not despire or grief, you will surely triumph if you are believers”.
We believe that Nigeria as a country will surely triumph.
We have seen through this protest and the amazing selflessness and collaboration of Nigerian youths that it is indeed possible to have ONE NATION BOUND IN FREEDOM, PEACE, AND UNITY.
To this end we say, PURE HEART, PURE NATION”.
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