By Eseoghene Emuke
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former Coordinator of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) for Delta, Edo and Rivers States, Hon. Joel-Onowakpo Thomas, has pleaded with #EndARS protesters to call-off the nationwide protest.
Joel-Onowakpo expressed fears that the ongoing protest could be hijack by those with different intent to cause pandemonium across the country.
He reminded the protesting youths that the Syria civil war begins with similar peaceful protest which was hijacked by opposition and snowballed into a civil war.
Joel-Onowakpo, a former chairman of the Delta State Board Internal Revenue (DBIR), noted that the protesters have made their mark and the authorities have listened to their demands going forward.
A former State Coordinator of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), for Delta, Edo and Rivers States, Hon. Joel-Onowakpo Thomas, has called on Nigerians protesting police brutality and extortion with hashtag #EndSARS to discontinue the protest before it further degenerate.
The 2019 APC candidate for House of Representatives for Isoko Federal Constituency spoke with journalists on weekend on latest happenings in the country.
Millions of Nigerian youths had been protesting against police brutality and harassment, calling on total reforms to Nigeria Police Force.
He stated that if the protest was not called-off, it will “degenerate and nobody will remember the reason for the protest.”
Joel-Onowakpo maintained, “Is anybody still talking about the protest in Syria which led to the war for over 10yrs? Are they still talking about removing the president or election in Syria. Remember, Syria is a very small country compared to Nigeria.”
He said that so long the Nigeria authorities and President Muhammadu Buhari have kick-started the process of addressing the issues raised by the #EndSARS protesters, there should not be any need for overstretching the issues that are currently being handled.
“I wish to align myself with the urgent need for total reformation of Nigeria Police. EndSARS alone will not give the desired result. An improved welfare package will be the step in the right direction.
“A Word of Caution. The President and Civil Societies should listen to each other. The stability of the country is very important. Our democracy is under threat! We should not overstretch an issue if it is being handled. Remember this is how it all started in Syria.
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“You have made your point, it is time to articulate your demands and sit down with government to implement these before the essence of this struggle is abused”, he added.
Similarly, Joel-Onowakpo, also condemned gruesome murder of nine persons in Oleh in Isoko South Local Government area of Delta State.
“What has happened in the Isoko ethnic nationality where unknown persons killed over nine (9) indigenes of Oleh community in the cruellest manner as a result of land dispute is condemnable.
“This is alien to the Isoko people and should be condemned by all well-meaning persons. I am appealing to the State Government and the Security agencies to get to the root of this immediately to avoid a complete breakdown of law and order”, he further added.
The former DBIR boss, however, condoled the bereaved families and appealed to residents of both communities to remain calm and allow government handle the situation to avoid break down of law and order.