PRESS RELEASE BY THE COALITION FOR A NEW NIGERIA.
It is with great pride and a renewed sense of hope for a New Nigeria that this Coalition has taken an active interest in the unfolding protests going on across the country. We applaud the youth for rising up to the moment and for demanding an end to the Special Anti-Crime Response Squad (SARS) and other forms of brutality by our security forces.
We salute the courage, civility, resoluteness, organization, commitment and sacrifice so far demonstrated by protesters across Nigeria who have sent a clear message to the establishment that it can no longer be business as usual. The message is very clear – Nigerian youths want a New Nigeria that works for them, respects them and gives them an enabling space to aspire and pursue their noblest dreams. Succinctly put, Nigerian youths have demonstrated their passion for a great country that would be the bastion of justice, equity, peace and progress and a light house for the rest of Africa.
This new vigour by our youth should be saluted by all patriotic citizens and all lovers of Nigeria. The altruism of our youth should not be hounded, scuttled or crushed. This struggle should be supported by all to succeed and produce enduring fruits of holistic reforms of public institutions and good governance. After all, we are all in this together.
It is on this note that we caution our security operatives including the army to shun the use of high-handed tactics and violence against peaceful protesters. Section 40 of the Nigerian Constitution provides for and guarantees the right to peaceful assembly. Our security operatives should never turn their weapons on peaceful citizens. Any attempt to crush the ongoing protests would only make matters worse. All our youths are asking for is that their leaders listen to them. Nigerian youths want political leaders at all levels to demonstrate they really care about the wellbeing of all citizens irrespective of status.
EndSARS has turned out to be the entry point for the numerous questions and agitations in the minds of the long-suffering and deprived youths of Nigeria.
Certainly, there are more questions and issues that the ongoing protest seek answers to.
Nigerian youths want and deserve answers and affirmative actions on entrenched corruption, unemployment, widespread poverty, insecurity and various shades of bad governance that pose huge threats to the wellbeing and survival of Nigerians particularly our youth.
In the days ahead, this Coalition will seek to aggregate the Irreducible Minimum Demands by Nigerian Youths in order to clearly communicate our pains and our prayers to the world. The first step is the convocation of the largest virtual multi stakeholders dialogue to interrogate the state of the nation, answer the numerous unanswered national questions and evaluate the ongoing crisis situation in the country with a view to identifying the most appropriate and widely acceptable closure for Nigerians especially the youths who are at the heart of this laudable civil action. The dialogue should among other objectives produce a “Citizens Charter of Demands” from the virtual Conference. The date and time will be made public soon to enable concerned citizens especially our youths to join in developing an Irreducible Minimum Charter of Demands that will be used to engage the political leadership in the country towards an immediate solution in addition to serving as a roadmap for the other numerous youth driven actions that must serve as the post civil action engagements needed to usher in a New Nigeria of our dream.
Meanwhile, we demand the immediate release of any protester detained by the police or any other security outfit. We also demand compensation for the families of all victims of police brutality in the country overtime and particularly those of our compatriots who were mowed down by irresponsible police officers and other security agents in the course of the ongoing protests. Also, we call for an immediate and open trial of security officers responsible for the killing and maiming of peaceful protesters. We are already compiling the names of our wounded and fallen compatriots for necessary action in the pursuit of accountability and in the interest of justice.
We also encourage Nigerians who had suffered brutality from our security agents in the past or know those who had passed or are passing through such an ordeal to step forward and share their stories with us on our social media handles. Now is the time to bring an end to the ruinous culture of state cruelty and official impunity in Nigeria.
Finally, we warn fifth columnists to steer clear of this genuine struggle by our youth. The young people are their own leaders in this struggle. They do not need the assistance of opportunistic politicians, subversive elements or criminals who have a different axe to grind with the government or the country at large . This struggle is not a coup invitation nor a support for insurrection or anarchy in the land. Any attempt to divide us along ethnic and religious lines will fail. Nigerian youths are together and united in demanding for a society that works for them and are ready to take their own destinies in their own hands. Nigerians youth simply want a country where the child of a ‘nobody’ can become ‘somebody’ without the need to know ‘anybody’.
We condemn in strong and unmistakable terms the criminalistic and violent dimension that this genuine struggle is being manipulated to take as manifested in the violent attacks on protesters in some parts of the country and the several cases of jail breaks being reported today in some parts of the country. This is certainly not part of the ideology and focus of the youth protesters and can never be. The Federal Government is hereby called upon to take proactive steps towards protecting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country where such challenge manifests without infringing on the constitutionally guaranteed rights of peaceful young protesters across the.
In pursuit of this commonly shared struggle, we urge every Nigerian youth on the street to shun violence and remain peaceful. Our Will, Our Voice, Our Youth will Win!
The die is cast!! A new country that is seeded in the dreams of our fore-fathers and heroes past is being birthed by our generation and we will actualize this peacefully. Yes, we Can!!!
All Co- Conveners:
Comrade Abdullahi Abdulmajeed
Convener and Chairman Nigerian Youths Multi Stakehokders Dialogue
President Of the National Youth Council of Nigeria( NYCN)
Delegate of the 2014 National Conference.
Comrade M.R Kabir
Publicity secretary NYCAEV north west zone
Comrade M.R Kabir
Publicity secretary NYCAEV north west zone
Co Covener Igbo Right Group
State Coordinator – Coalition 4 Change
National Youth Director -Progressive Alliance Forum
NYCAEV North west zone
Foundation for Peace Professionals
Founder: Greenwood Dialogue Foundation
Engnr. Balami Isaac
Founder: Nigeria Rebirth Foundation
Anthony Ehilebo Esq
Convener Rethink Nigeria Publisher BreakingTimes
Covener of Citizens First Nigeria so second
Youth Alliance on Constitution and Electoral Reforms YACORE
Abdulhaleem Ishaq Ringim
Amb. Ndubuisi Idejiora-Kalu
Comrade Chima Achu
Comrades Godspower Igwe
Comrade Muhammed Jega.
Dr Carl Oshodi
Comrade Oso Opeyemi
Comrade Mallam Tijjani Ibrahim