House of Representatives caucus of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has urged the Federal Government to be cautious over the way it handles the crackdown on those perceived to have organised the #EndSARS protests in the country.
Led by representative of Obio/Akpor Federal Constituency, Kingsley Chinda, members of the caucus noted that it behooved the authorities to maintain the rule of law in dealing with the masterminds of the protests.
In a statement issued in Abuja yesterday, they frowned on the seizure of passports and travel documents, freezing of bank accounts and deregistration of companies of those perceived to be supporters of #EndSARS demonstrations by the Corporate Affairs Commission, as well as arrests and prosecution of some of the protesters.
The caucus observed that the development shows how desperate the authorities have become in muzzling the rights and freedom of citizens whose only offence was their courage to speak truth to power and a government that had refused to listen to the yearnings and sufferings of Nigerians.
“The Federal Government must free itself from fifth columnists bent on derailing the nation’s democracy. Although it is government’s constitutional responsibility to maintain law and order, this duty imposed by the Constitution must be discharged in a manner that respects rule of law and the rights of citizens,” Chinda said.
MEANWHILE, the Abuja chapter of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and the Apo Traders Association (ATA) said they lost goods and property worth over N2.6b during the #EndSARs protests in Abuja.
They appealed to the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to assist them with a view to reducing their losses and pains. They made their position known yesterday while presenting their case to the Federal Capital Territory [FCT] Ministerial committee in Abuja.
The Guardian recalled that shortly after the demonstrations, Minister of the FCT, Muhammad Musa Bello, constituted a ministerial committee to inspect all affected locations that were destroyed in the FCT to ascertain the extent of damage and property lost to the hoodlums with a view of finding means to compensate victims.
The 12-member committee drawn from security agencies, the media, FCTA officials and the Vehicle Inspection Organization [VIO] has the Director–General of FEMA as its Chairman.
Narrating their ordeal, Chairman of MAN, Abuja, Nasarawa and Niger chapter, Odun Emasealu said their members lost over N1.5b worth of goods in 12 factories and four warehouses in Abuja.
A representative of the Shelter Initiative for Africa Women, Yusuf Ohai, also informed the committee that its members lost goods worth over N129m to the hoodlums.
Responding, Chairman, FCT Ministerial Committee on Assessment of Damaged Property and Loss of Lives, Abbas Idris, said members of any organisation without valid insurance policy would not be assisted.