#EndSARS: Nigerians in Diaspora hold peace rally in London, condemns violence by protesters

Some Nigerians in the United Kingdom, on Thursday, held a peaceful rally to condemn the violence occasioned by the #EndSARS protests in their home country.

Numbering in their hundreds, the Nigerians stormed the Nigerian House in London calling on their compatriots to give peace a chance.

They also urged Nigerians back home to embrace the March4Nigeria rally that is presently ongoing across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory as well as other parts of the world.

In a statement signed by Coordinating Chairman, Philip Amraevughe and member, Alvine Emechetta, the group said the current situation in Nigeria is a cause for concern.

While admitting that it is in place for the youths to demand an end to police brutality, the group noted that this should not be at the detriment of the country’s peace, stability and progress.

According to them, the EndSARS protests have been hijacked by hoodlums, hence the need to March4Nigeria to send a strong message to these political thugs and their sponsors.

The group reckoned that there is no other place to call home and as “such should not allow ourselves to be used as agents of destruction”.

The statement added that the unity of Nigeria is sacrosanct, and the objective of the March4Nigeria is in total agreement with this statement of the fact.

However, the group warned, “those sponsoring acts of violence in Nigeria to desist from such enterprise and allow the government the time to implement the long-lasting reforms”.

The Nigerians assured that the country will achieve its goals under President Muhammadu Buhari.

Read the full speech below:

My dear youths of Nigeria, we all must be concerned about the state of affairs in our beloved country.  We all have a right to agitate and drive home our demands to the government to put an end to police brutality in Nigeria.

We have indeed shown that our voices can be heard in a most commendable fashion. For days, we were on the streets with the symbol of our unity, the national flag. For once, the world saw in us the strength of the youths in Nigeria.

We are all victors that spoke in one voice towards the betterment of our great country. Consequently, this March4Nigeria is to call on all of us to ensure that the future of our great country is not ruined by those that are angling to see to the disintegration of Nigeria.

We all should be worried about the level of violence that has erupted and has seen to the death of scores of people on the streets of Lagos, Abuja and other parts of the country. Indeed we must join our voice to condemn this act of violence that is fast getting out of control.

This March4Nigeria consists of those of us that joined our voices in demanding for an end to police brutality in Nigeria and that the government has accepted to implement our demands should give us a reason to hold back and not resort to violence of any kind.

I know for certain that those perpetrating violence across Nigeria are not one of us and do not believe in our noble cause of seeing to an end of police brutality that has claimed the lives of young Nigerians in their prime.

We must quickly realize that the once peaceful protests have been hijacked by agents of those that are against the interest of Nigeria.  By those that are hell-bent on seeing to the disintegration of our great country.

I stand here to say that in the history of our great country, the youths have not been known to be violent. This has been the case from time immemorial and a reason why we must tread with caution at the risk of us been branded as criminals.

When I look into the crowd, I see intellectuals; I see visionaries, I see young and budding entrepreneurs, I see those that are passionate about our country. I see a group of people who are burning with passion for making Nigeria great again.

I also see a group of people that abhors any form of violence, and would never resort to looting, burning of police stations, attacking law enforcement officers and other forms of criminalities that are ongoing in Nigeria. This is not only condemnable, but it is also anti-growth, it is anti-progress, and it is anti-unity.

If I must add at this juncture that indeed the strength of Nigeria lies in the resourcefulness of her youths that dot the nook and crannies of Nigeria. Consequently, we must use this medium to condemn the attacks been perpetuated by hoodlums and political thugs that have seen the perfect opportunity to unleash violence to the detriment of the peace and unity in Nigeria.

I firmly believe that this much the bulk the youths in Nigeria are aware of and have necessitated the convoking of the March4Nigeria to indeed send a strong message to those that are hiding under the EndSARS campaign to cause conflict in Nigeria.

In the light of the above, I am calling on those that are still agitated to give peace a chance and embrace the March4Nigeria rally that is presently ongoing in Nigeria and other parts of the world.

This generation of Nigerians and indeed the future generations have no other place to call home and as such should not allow ourselves to be used as agents of destruction. I condemn the riots in the same breath that I condemn the police brutality.

Nobody likes riots. Money is lost. Properties are destroyed. People get hurt and killed. Riots become a reason to institute martial law and brutalize citizens, generally with little regard for what those citizens did in the riot. People who participate in riots don’t tend to be happy at the time or look back fondly on their memories of them afterwards.

Let’s get something else clear right away — the term “riot” isn’t all that useful. It describes any disorganized outbreak of violence, but people running out and breaking things for the fun of it is not the same as violence in response to ongoing injustice. That is not what the youths of Nigeria represent or intended with the EndSARS protests.

To draw a false equivalence and claim that rioting and violence taint a cause, make the oppressed just as bad as the oppressors–by that standard nothing accomplished is untainted. Trust me; it won’t be about the story itself; it won’t be about riots or property damage or civil unrest or law and order. Any more than it will be, specifically, about body cameras or written police procedures or deliberations. Any more than it will be about ballistic analyses or autopsies or expert testimony on how exactly a spine gets broken.

My Nigerian youths, we are at a crossroad. We have to choose between getting things rights and getting things worse. I am convinced that we do not want to get things worse hence the need for all of us to condemn in its strongest possible terms the level of violence that has erupted in parts of Nigeria.

The unity of Nigeria is sacrosanct, and the objective of the March4Nigeria is in total agreement with this statement of the fact. There can be no peace without unity. Our demands for an end to police brutality cannot be achieved in an atmosphere of lawlessness, arson, and loss of lives.

I am using this medium to send a strong message to those sponsoring acts of violence in Nigeria to desist from such enterprise and allow the government the time to implement the long-lasting reforms in the operations of the Nigerian Police Force.

We condemn violence and lawlessness in Nigeria, as there is no alternative to peace. We are carrying out this March4Nigeria because we believe in one Nigeria. Our message is that of peace and unity. Our message is that of an unflinching commitment to sustainable peace and progress in Nigeria.

As we March4Nigeria, we March4Peace, we March4Progress and we March4 unity, and this much we must achieve God helping us. I thank you all for your perseverance so far and together we can make Nigeria great again.

God bless the youths of the federal republic of Nigeria.

God bless Nigeria.

Thank you.

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