The National Economic Council (NEC) has said that the #EndSARS protests have been hijacked by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and other secessionist.
The council chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in the communique issued after a virtual meeting in which a committee to engage youths, representatives of civil society organisations (CSO), religious and traditional leaders, on employment and social safety net programmes was setup, expressed the belief that most members of the nation’s security personnel are law-abiding and are capable of restoring law and order.
The NEC which also supported President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to overhaul the country’s security services by improving the capacity of security officers across the rank and file while providing them with the necessary equipment to carry out their jobs effectively, stressed that the subterranean and violent tendencies must be quickly addressed given that the secessionist groups have “continually hijacked demonstrations and caused mayhem and lawlessness across parts of the country.”
They commiserated and condoled with all those injured and who have also suffered the death of a loved one or lost a property following the hijacking of the #EndSARS protest.
The statement read;
“To this end, a council committee to engage the youths, representatives of civil society organisations, religious and traditional leaders, on employment, social safety net programmes, and national unity among other key issues of concern has been constituted composing governors representing the six geopolitical zones.
“NEC enjoined the CACOVID leadership to come out with an independent statement on the status of the distribution of palliatives donated to states, which should clearly explain the circumstances behind the delay in the distribution of food items domiciled in warehouses across the country.
“Council reviewed the activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and other secessionist groups, stressing that these subterranean and violent tendencies must be quickly addressed given that they have continually hijacked demonstrations and caused mayhem and lawlessness across parts of the country.
“Council established that economic issues underlie what the country has gone through in the last few weeks. Good governance and improved service delivery remain the fundamental panacea to social tensions in the country and social welfare must be given greater priority in the first instance.
“Council decried the irresponsible use of social media in fueling misinformation and increasing social tensions.
“The council agreed to embark on an objective framing of a new security and stability architecture for the country supported by the development of a framework of engagement with the youth, civil society and religious leaders.
“A framework for national unity; a framework to engage with security agencies that will devolve more control to state governors who are the chief security officers of their states; a framework for federal support to provide compensation for those who have incurred losses in the last few weeks and a framework for social security to deal with the problem of unemployment and poverty in the country.”
It was further gathered that members of the committe to be chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo are Governors, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto), Prof. Babagana Zulum (Borno), Mr. Muhammed Bello (Niger), Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) (Ondo), Chief Dave Umahi (Ebonyi) and Senator Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta).