The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has called for dialogue, following the violence and destruction of businesses being witnessed across the country.
In a statement signed by Saratu Aliyu, the national president of NACCIMA, the organisation said the focus now should be to de-escalate the crisis that started with the #EndSARS protests.
Recall how several businesses and warehouses were looted across the country last week followed by the eruption of violent attacks at the #EndSARS protests by Nigerian youth across the country
In its statement on Saturday, NACCIMA lamented over the hijack of the peaceful protest by thugs and miscreants, resulting in the attack on businesses, destruction of government properties, burning of police stations and correctional centres to free prisoners.
The statement partly read: “Let me express condolences of our Association to the immediate and extended families of all those who have lost dear ones in the violence being witnessed across the nation. This is indeed disheartening,” the statement 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 equally concerned about the deployment of military forces to confront the protesters which resulted in unsavoury consequences as witnessed especially at Lekki Toll area in Lagos recently. We are therefore calling for an end to the involvement of the military in the current situation.”
“We must therefore step back and work together to end this violent crisis. Towards this end we are calling for frank dialogue between the leaders of the protesting youth and various arms of government at all levels; including State and Federal governments to douse the tension. The prompt agreement on the initial 5-point demands of the Protesting Youth including disbandment of SARS is a reflection of possibilities of what can be achieved through peaceful and meaning Diaogue on the various contending issues.
“Our youths must now step forward for engagement and dialogue, in a constructive manner, to be part of the solution and the search for peace. We must mobilize ourselves and join others to urgently put an end to the crisis.”