By Hassan Zaggi
The Middle Belt Forum (MBF) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari, to, as a matter of urgency, set up an independent judicial panel of enquiry to unearth circumstances under which young Nigerians were killed in different parts of the country in the past two days.
Those found to be responsible for these unprovoked murders should be brought to book.
The MBF made the call in a statement signed by its National President, Dr Pogu Bitrus, in Abuja, on Thursday.
“We appeal to President Buhari to immediately set up an independent judicial panel of enquiry to unearth circumstances under which these killings were perpetrated with the intention of bringing to book all those responsible for these unprovoked murders.
“The Forum also pleads with the President to make public the outcome of the panel’s investigation and ensure that those found guilty are punished so as to serve as deterrents to others,” the group noted.
The MBF further called on President Buhari to intervene and stop further killings of these youths who, according to them, are simply exercising their fundamental rights by calling the attention of the world to the cruelty of the police and demanding for a better country where the system works for citizens.
While calling on the president to address that nation and make clear-cut commitments, with timelines, towards addressing the demands of the youth, the MBF said: “Tuesday’s shootings of protesters who were holding the Nigerian flags at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos, and the attendant destruction of private and public property, have thrown thick clouds of uncertainties over our nation’s skies, thereby unleashing ominous signs on our country.
“It is sad that the youth who were shot were not criminals but patriotic citizens marching against the brutality of our nation’s police that has horrified victims and citizens and made Nigeria the shame of the international community.
“It is most tragic that more than 48 hours after the unprovoked murder of those youth who were proudly holding our national flag and reciting the national anthem, President Muhammadu Buhari has not found it appropriate to address the nation; a clear sign that our President is obviously devoid of wise counsel on the bloody turnout of the #EndSARS protests that have claimed scores of lives across the country.”
The MBF totally condemned what it described as the “vicious violence that are rocking the foundations of our dear country.”