Being text of speech at the Press Conference held at the Press Gallery of the Lagos Court of Arbitration, 2A, Remi Olowude Street, Oniru, Off Maruwa Bus Stop, Lekki, Lagos State by 1 PM on Tuesday, 16th February, 2021.
Great ladies and gentlemen of the Press , it is a pleasure to welcome you to this import ant Press Conference as examine the state of our dear country and draw the way forward. The events of the past 90 hours has taken our nation to the brink.
REPRESSION OF 13TH FEBRUARY, 2021 IS A COMPLETE DESCENT TO DICTATORSHIP
We want to state categorically that the heavy repression of the 13th February, 2021 #OccupyLekkiTollGates Protests is the complete descension of our dear country into dictatorship as we are shocked as a Forum of lawyers how a line up of Ministers of Information and Defence of the Federal Government of Nigeria in a synchronized teamwork with the Governor of Lagos State , Attorney General of Lagos State and Commissioner of Police brought heavy force down on peaceful protesters .
We are forced to question the preparedness of our political elite to continue to sustain democratic rights and rule of law. We are quick to ask whether the political elite are inadvertently not requesting for a return to military authoritarianism.
THE MIND-NUMBING LINK BETWEEN DICTATORSHIP AND ETHNIC TENSIONS
We are also pained by the ethnic tensions that are blowing out across the country. Of note is the ugly events of ethnic skirmishes in major parts of Oyo State , where clashes broke out between traders of Hausa and Yoruba ethnic extraction.
We recall that prior to tensions reaching this heightened and ugly levels, there is an escalation of ethnic vitroil. These ethnic vitroil was not checkmated by either the Federal Government or the State Governments of affected states such as Ondo and Ogun States( for instance in Oja Odan in Ogun State where there are similar skirmishes)
leaving the field wide open for ethnic conflagration.
Instead of combating the tiresome and truculent issues of insecurity, peaceful and unarmed protesters were the ones that has been the target of deployment of heavy state apparatuses by the Government at all levels.
WE WILL MOBILISE AGAINST EFFORTS TO DERAIL DEMOCRATIC RULE
We hereby give notice that as a Forum of legal practitioners and defenders of democracy, we will mobilise against any effort by any section of the political elite , either by conduct or by statements return the country to military rule or fan the embers of ethnic conflagration.
Chairman, Eti-Osa Bar Forum
Secretary, Eti-Osa Bar Forum
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