CALABAR South Local government Area’s paramount ruler His Royal Majesty Professor Itam Hogan has warned Nigeria’s elite the next uprising by the masses is likely to be much deadlier than the recent one and may not spare any of them.
Last Tuesday, Nigerian Army troops opened fire on unarmed protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate, killing several of them. This cold blooded murder sparked a national outrage across the country and people have since taken to the streets, setting fire to public buildings and looting warehouses, shops and the homes of the wealthy.
In what was a week-long expressing of anger, the Nigerian masses took their frustrations out on the wealthy, damaging and looting their property. What started off as a peaceful protest to get the Special Anti Robbery Squad (Sars) police unit dissolved, later became a full blown social uprising, with many members if the elite forced to flee for dear life.
Professor Hogan, has warned that the #EndSARS protest was just the key that opened the Pandora’s Box. Speaking during a courtesy visit by the former Cross River State governor, Senator Liyel Imoke, National Assembly members and major political stakeholder in the state, he said that Nigerian youths were hungry, angry and feel abandoned by the government.
He condemned the looting and wanton destruction in major parts of Calabar and other local government areas in the state but conceded that the youths felt neglected by political leaders. Professor Hogan, added: “The #EndSARS protest was just a key that opened the Pandora’s Box that culminated into violent crimes like arson, vandalism and so on.
“If we are not careful it would be more bloody as they will come after us and they will go from house to house next time and we will not be able to walk on the streets. When you drive your big Jeeps, many of our children feel bad and they hate you.”
“They feel that way because they think you are using their money to buy the Jeeps and from what I gathered, many of them who caused the violence were people between 18 and 35 years of age. If our schools were also open, I don’t think that the huge number of people who were on our streets would have had the time to do so because they would be in school busy with work and other things.
“The ball is now in the court of you, the politicians, so I want to further appeal that whenever you make promises, make sure they are fulfilled in a transparent manner and be truthful when you mention figures. There have been a lot of failed promises and this has angered the young people really deeply and many politicians forget they are from communities, our people are really hungry.”
Senator Imoke appealed to traditional leaders to assist by engaging the youths, as dialogue was the only platform that can drive a peaceful resolution and create an atmosphere for growth and development to thrive. He said: “I know it is very challenging but it behoves on us to dialogue with the youths.
“The reaction in Cross River is a great concern for us, if we don’t dialogue we cannot move forward. Please, you have to kick start action towards peaceful resolution because as traditional leaders, you are the bridge builders.”