Some eminent Nigerians under the auspices of Concerned Nigerians have urged President Muhammadu Buhari to take immediate steps to address the widening trust deficit between the government and the President on the one hand, and the Nigerian youth and its people on the other.
The eminent Nigerians who made the call sequel to the wanton carnage in several states of the federation following the shooting of peaceful young protesters at Lekki Toll gate in Lagos by soldiers on Tuesday night, urged the President to urgently halt the descent into chaos following the mismanagement of the youth protest against police brutality.
The 41 eminent Nigerians who signed the statement include, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), Prof. Jibrin Ibrahim, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, Prof. Attahiru Jega, Funke Adekoya (SAN), Prof. Joy Ngozi Ezeilo, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), Prof. Koyinsola Ajayi (SAN), Prof. Auwalu H. Yadudu, Mal. Yusuf Ali (SAN), Dr. Chris Kwaja, Mr. Chino Edmund Obiagwu (SAN), Father George Ehusani, Mr. John Odah, Prof. Mohammed Tabiu (SAN), Mal. Kabiru Yusuf, Cmrd. Salisu Nuhu Mohammed, Mr. Ledum Mitee, Ms Ngozi Iwere and Ene Obi.
Other members of the group are Ms Amina Salisu, Dr. Hakeem Baba Ahmed, Dayo Olayide, Danlami Nmodu, Mallam Hamza Ibrahim, Prof. Ukachukwu A. Awuzie, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson, Dr. Dipo Fashina, Dr. Udo Jude, Ms Idayat Hassan, Abubakar Sokoto Mohammed, Prof. G.G. Darah, Prof. Adele Jinadu, Prof. Rufai Alkali, Hon. Rima Shawulu, Dr. Innocent Chukwuma, Dr. Kole Shettima, Adeyemi Candide-Johnson (SAN), Mal. Y.Z. Yau, Prof. Pat Utomi and A. B. Mahmoud (SAN).
While urging the President to institute an urgent independent inquiry on the events at Lekki toll gate leading to the use of live ammunition on the protestors, the distinguished Nigerians said all those identified to be responsible for this must be held to account and prosecuted.
The eminent personalities said the President must also take immediate remedial action as spelt out in the youth Charter of Demands (5For5 Demands) including the immediate release of all arrested protestors, justice and compensation for the families of victims, and an independent body to oversee the prosecution of guilty officers.
They further urged the President to update the nation with concrete plan of implementation of the modalities and timelines for police reform and respond positively to the consensus opinion that the heads of the security agencies have performed poorly and should be relieved of office.
They also said the President must announce urgent steps to address perennial insecurity and killings in the country particularly in the North-East and North-West.