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Killings, Soldiers’ Deployment, Curfew Won’t End Protests, Says Afe Babalola

A legal luminary, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), yesterday said the declaration of curfew, deployment of soldiers and killing of protesters won’t solve the nationwide protests embarked on by the youths to press home bad governance and police brutality.

He said the curfew imposed in some states to quell the crisis would not also work on the premise that the atmosphere has already been charged and needed presidential intervention to bring the violent crises to a halt.

Babalola, therefore, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to alleviate the pains of the suffering masses by addressing the country about his plans to correct perceived injustice being complained by the youths.

The founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, stated this in a statement he made available to journalists in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State, yesterday.

According to the statement, “Protests against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS or FSARS) have spread to all parts of Nigeria and beyond.

“The deployment of soldiers to the streets is not the answer. The imposition of curfews is certainly not the answer. The use of live bullets and other lethal weapons to kill the protesting youths is not the answer.

“A protest, both in fact and in law, is analogous to a message which an injured toe sends to the brain complaining about unbearable pain. The response by the brain and the head is normally to take steps to treat the pain to the toe. Any injured person who refuses to take steps to treat pains to any part of the body does so at his own peril.

“The president is the head of the nation, while the youths are parts of the body. I therefore urge the president as the head of the country to address the youths and offer remedial steps to be taken to alleviate the pains.”

Babalola said he had warned at the inception of the protests that quick intervention of the president would help in resolving the crisis, adding that this can still be done to save the country from imminent conflagration.

“I remember that as soon as the protests began, I had issued a statement in a similar vein on the issue appealing to the president to please address the issue at that time.

“I now again plead with him to address the root causes of the pain, which the youths are complaining about,” he said.

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