Written by Sarah NEGEDU

#EndSARS: AMAC chairs blames police for escalation

The non-confrontational order given to security personnel during the violence that took place in the wake of #EndSARS crisis may have been responsible for the level of damage recorded in the Abuja Municipal Area Council, AMAC.

Chairman of the Council, Abdullahi Candido, who stated this in his presentation to the FCT Ministerial Committee on Assessment of Damage and Loss during the #EndSARS crisis, noted that hoodlums had a field day during the crisis as they were not forcefully engaged by the police.

The council boss who is also a member of the committee noted that though government tried avoiding bloodshed during the crisis by asking the police and other security personnel to stand down, the effect was felt on private and public businesses.

In his words, “The government tried avoiding spilling of blood on the part of the young ones, but I don't think that can be tolerated any longer, because no government will stand back and watch hoodlums destroy properties of innocent citizens in the name of venting their anger. I think directing the police not to do anything led to the mayhem we experienced. Luckily the minister in his magnanimity put up this committee so Nigerians can see for themselves and differentiate between reasonable Nigerians and hoodlums.”

Recounting some of the losses suffered by businesses in the Area Council, Candido said, “Locations within the Area Council like the Gwagwa Agro Fertilizer Warehouse, Idu Industrial layout, and so many other areas were seriously affected. Apo specifically suffered serious damage in the hands of these hoodlums and nobody can give you a reason for perpetuating this damage.

“They just assumed palliative were warehoused and they were going to get them. Unfortunately, it went out of hand and private businesses where affected and properties carted away. How do you explain the attack on say a private business premises where furniture were carted away and the hoodlums will say it is our properties? At the end we all discover it wasn't just palliative they were looking for, it was an opportunity that created itself and therefore they did what they did and hoodlums really had their day. The repercussion was that there were lots of injuries in the cause of preventing the crises.

The chairman also revealed that business owners had to engage the services of private security to check the hoodlums, “else the situation would have been worse than we recorded.”

Commiserating with the AMAC chairman for witnessing such level of violence in his area, the chairman of the committee, Idriss Abbas, called for youth empowerment and enlightenment, to prevent them future occurrence.

“As one of the tiers of government, let's see how we can manage these youths by engaging them in skills acquisition and the likes.  As long as they can communicate easily, they can get themselves together through social media and the likes, then the only solution we can do as government, is to ensure that we provide skilful employment for the youths. We must educate them and enlighten them to know that the country belongs to all of us and that the consequences of any action any of us makes, will be felt by all of us.”

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