June 12 planned protests dangerous – JEPUIN warns

Mr Tony Uranta, Executive Secretary, Justice and Equity for Peace and Unity Initiative (JEPUIN), has warned that street protests being planned for Saturday (June 12) can  be hijacked and may end in violence.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports  that June 12, a significant landmark in the political history of Nigeria, was declared the country’s Democracy Day by President in 2020.

The declaration  came decades after agitations by many Nigerians and  civil society groups that the day should be set aside to honour the late M.K.O Abiola, the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 Presidential Election.

The election was annulled by then Head of State, now retired Gen. Ibrahim Babangida.

NAN also reports that some rights activists have called for nationwide protests the Democracy Day  over  challenges in the country.

Uranta told  journalists Friday that those planning to in the nationwide protests  should  note that consequences of street protests might be dire.

The JEPUN scribe  advised organisers of the protest  to in other forms of civil action such as  dialogue that would be less prone to violence.

Uranta commended the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) for shelving its planned protest Saturday.

He urged  all youths and civil groups to jettison the idea of street protests, warning that the protests could result in violence.

He said: “Though the myriads of challenges in the country may seem overwhelming, they  are not insurmountable, if all Nigerians will  join forces and encourage the Federal and security agencies to do the needful.”

Uranta said that efforts and sacrifices of some Nigerians including leaders of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), who were at the forefront of the  fight for  democracy, would be undermined if youths, for whom they fought,  would take to the streets on June 12 to protest rather than reflect.

“As a member of NADECO/NALINCON, still have great hopes that the democracy we fought for has come to stay.

“Nigerian youths must begin to think beyond ethnic and lines on how to move the nation forward rather than being used by some disgruntled elements to unleash terror on the nation,” he said.

Uranta urged parents, guardians, traditional rulers, leaders of thought and others to discourage their wards, and subjects from  joining in the  protests.

He said that the protests could be detrimental to all.

The JEPUIN scribe noted the  sacrifices of the now June 12 agitators such as Dr Tunji Braithwaite, Dr Frederick Fasheun, retired Commodore Ndubusi Kanu and  Mr Yinka .

He urged that their efforts to enshrine democracy, for which they were jailed and pilloried, should not be in vain.

JEPUIN is the premier collective of patriotic Nigerians  determined to do all necessary to keep Nigeria united as a truly just and equitable democracy as foreseen by the  founding fathers.

The organisation, birthed early in 2019,  focuses on building a united Nigeria on the foundation of justice, equity and fairness. (NAN)