Voice of Reason (VoR), a group of Yoruba entrepreneurs, professionals and academics, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to quickly address national issues of concern in order to prevent the disintegration of the country.
The group made the call during a press conference which held in Lagos, on Friday.
In a statement, Olufemi Adegoke, chairman of the group, said the call became necessary to save the country from sinking into a state of anarchy.
“Many problems in the polity have been identified as being worthy of statesmanlike deliberation and contemplation. All these issues, if not properly addressed would lead to chaos and finally, the disintegration of the country,” the statement read.
Among the issues raised by the group are the “hurried release” of Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), and the arrest of Omoyele Sowore, presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) in the 2019 elections, by members of the Department of State Services (DSS).
While Sowore was arrested by the DSS two days before a planned “RevolutionNow” protest, El-Zakzaky, who has been in detention since 2015, was recently granted permission by a court for a medical trip to India.
The group said the case of Sowore and El-Zakzaky should send a signal to the Buhari’s administration.
“The arrest and subsequent detention of Omoyele Sowore, the erstwhile presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, for the “crime of a call for revolution” which is neither known to Nigerian statutes on criminal law nor to the Constitution of the country, is a worrisome development,” the statement read.
“The hurried release of El-Zakzaky after the protests by IMN turned bloody and the subsequent subtle threat from Iran is another case in point.
“VoR advices the government of the day to thread cautiously in the minefield of global geopolitics and seek a diplomatic of political resolution to the problem. We are a Democracy, and it is necessary for governments , just like individuals to respect The Rule of Law. This includes the prompt obedience of Court Orders.”
The group called for equity and transparency in government, saying “the shoddy conformation process in the Senate is disgraceful and gives the impression that we effectively have a Rubber Stamp legislature in place.”
VoR also demanded a stop in the use of policemen as bodyguards, adding that the practice is “depleting the number of policemen available for conventional police wok.”
“In their place, a corps of suitable trained and licenced ex-servicemen may be made available for citizens and officials who require bodyguard functions and are ready to pay the appropriate fees,” it read.
Other issues addressed during by the group include security in the south-west and the rest of the nation; the security architecture of Nigeria; restructuring; welfare and equipment for members of the armed forces; economy; power; youth unemployment; and RUGA settlements.
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