Former President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has blamed President Muhammadu Buhari for the ongoing violence over the #EndSARS protest nationwide.
Obasanjo said the President and his lieutenants did not exhaust the opportunities for dialogue with the protesters before resulting to use of force.
According to him, Great harm has been done but it can be stopped before it completely spirals out of control.
The presidency has not responded to Mr Obasanjo’s claim but had earlier said it was committed to meeting all the protesters’ demands.
In the statement titled “Statement on Violence Against Protesters in Nigeria: An Appeal for Calm”, Obasanjo asked Buhari to act immediately and stop the use of force against the protesters.
He also appealed to the youth to give peace a chance and stop “targeting of individuals and groups for attacks and reprisal attacks,” and destruction of property.
He said “We are at a critical moment in this crisis and Mr. President must act before it is too late. This time demands leadership and mature leadership at such.
“Most of the demands of the protesting youth, which Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State swiftly took to the President, are not unreasonable and can be met without anyone’s political interest or ambition being threatened. It is imperative that leaders at all levels, starting from Mr. President, must demonstrate meekness, humanity and sincerity in meeting the legitimate demands of the protesters and ensuring that justice is served where it must be served. These are the most potent ways of ending this crisis now.
“The youth too must give peace a chance while making their legitimate demands. They must be mindful of miscreants who will infiltrate their ranks and give the protests a bad name only so that trigger – happy forces will kill them. The destruction and looting of public and private properties will hurt all of us and set us back. The targeting of individuals and groups for attacks and reprisal attacks will only further widen our divisions, escalate the crisis and threaten our fragile unity.
“This is yet another moment when our nation is on the edge of cliff. Our individual and collective actions now and in the next few days will determine where we will go as a nation. May God help us in taking the right steps in the right direction.”