The Yoruba Initiative (TYI), a think tank of Yoruba professionals, intellectuals and entrepreneurs has urged Nigerians, particularly the youths, to shun the _Occupy Nigeria_ protest planned by a group and slated to take off on Tuesday.
The organisers of the planned protest led by a well-known public affairs commentator and university don, Professor Pat Utomi had called on Nigerians to come out en masse on the scheduled date, to occupy public spaces and facilities in protest against the dismissal by the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) of the petitions filed before it by the Allied Peoples Movement (APM), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP) and their presidential candidates against the election as President, of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in last February’s general elections.
In a statement signed by its Director of Publicity, Mr. Tunde Ipinmisho, The Yoruba Initiative said the action of the organisers of the planned protest ostensibly to promote the entrenchment of democratic values and the defence of the public good, is nothing but a self-serving device to destroy the foundations of the nation’s democratic order.
Having willingly initiated the judicial process, TYI said it was a contradiction in terms for the petitioners and those who purport to fight for them to now resort to self-help, which portends nothing for the nation but instability, and a threat to law and order.
The group expressed surprise that those led by an intellectual of the status of Professor Utomi, whose previous advocacy had been underpinned by an apparent commitment to the rule of law would now be advocating for a public protest that seeks to achieve nothing but a subversion of that same system.
The Yoruba group recalled that Utomi had previously led a group that once occupied the national headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Abuja.
It also noted that similar groups had in year 2020 seized a protest against alleged violation of human rights by an arm of the Police to foist on the nation, an unprecedented campaign of violence that caused wholesale destruction of critical infrastructure particularly in Lagos and other parts of the South West.
It said no group that purports to have the interest of the nation at heart, would at this critical time be seeking to engage in any activity that could bring about the destabilisation of public order in the country.
TYI advised the petitioners and their supporters to tread the part of honour, follow through the judicial process they had initiated and commit themselves to accepting the outcome of that process at the Supreme Court.
It warned that the leaders of the South West would never again permit the large scale brigandage unleashed on Lagos in the wake of the #ENDSARS protest and advised those who may be plotting a repeat of same to back down from their dangerous plan.
The Yoruba Initiative also appealed to the relevant security agencies to take note of the apparent threat to the nation’s security and call those behind it to order.
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