The Nigerian Association of Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has sued for calm and called for a frank dialogue between the leaders of the protesting youth and various arms of government at all levels in order to douse the violence sweeping across the country in the aftermath of the protest.
A press statement titled “An Urgent Call for Calm and Frank Dialogue to End #EndSARS Crisis and Ongoing Violence,” which was signed and issued yesterday by the National President of NACCIMA, Mrs. Saratu Iya Aliyu, said that the objective now should be to de-escalate the crisis being witnessed, which started with what is now known as the #EndSARS protests by the youth.
Aliyu observed that it was unfortunate that a hitherto peaceful and legitimate protest had been hijacked by thugs and miscreants, resulting in attack on businesses, destruction of government properties, burning of police stations and correctional centres.
She said: “We recognise the right of citizens to peaceful legitimate protests, but we condemn and are totally against the wanton destruction of properties and looting by hoodlums who have hijacked the peaceful protests. We cannot sit by and allow the looting and other criminal acts by hoodlums to go on unchecked. We must work with others to put an end to the violence and lawlessness we are now witnessing.
“We are, therefore, calling for an end to the involvement of the military in current situation. The impact of the crisis and wanton destruction of property as being witnessed is clear for all to see. Goods worth billions of Naira have been lost in arson and looting. Business operations have also been seriously impacted while the NACCIMA’s efforts as a national chamber of commerce to help project our country as a favourable investment friendly destination to foreign investors over the years is now suffering a serious setback. At a period we are still struggling with the negative impact of COVID-19 on our economy and working on economic recovery, we must not by acts of commission or omission, aggravate our economic situation.
“As a national chamber, we cannot and should not stand by and watch the current crisis spiral out of control and result in anarchy and lawlessness. We have the patriotic duty to join other stakeholders for an end to the crisis, not just because of our businesses, but because of our nation at this historic junction and for the sake of posterity.”