An activist and former labour leader in Delta State, Comrade Ovuozourie Macaulay, has expressed concern over the manner the peaceful #ENDSARS protest is degenerating into violent confrontation.
Macaulay, a former Chairman of the State council of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), said the #ENDSARS protest was valiant, and a noble cause that was birthing a new Nigeria.
The labour activist who also chaired the Delta State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), said he believed and supported the ideals of the youth protest, noting that all through his years in the labour movement, he stood for similar principles that were geared towards a better Nigeria.
He urged the leadership of the National Assembly and the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) to come together and dialogue with the youth with a view to finding amicable solutions to their demands, arguing that it had gone beyond SARS as the entire nation was now aggrieved.
Macaulay said the deployment of the military to the streets was not the answer because the issue was about an aggrieved society, adding that the military was not trained to handle civil matters, such as protests.
“Drafting soldiers to the streets will not help us. The Lekki incident is enough for us to keep off the soldiers because until the Lekki shooting there was no violence, lekki shooting triggered off the violence so why draft more soldiers to the street.
“The meeting between the IGP and the Senate president is not the answer because the IGP is an accused person in this matter and you do not expect him to find a solution to the matter in which he is being accused.
“Let the government know that the democracy we are enjoying today is the outcome of the protest by some of us at a younger age. So they cannot afford to silence civil protesters”, he said.
Macaulay, a former Secretary to the State Government (SSG), however condemned the attendant violence, especially the killings and destruction of government property, noting that it was contrary to the quest for growth and development of the society.