Following the report by the Nigerian army that it would launch ‘exercise Crocodile smile’, an operation that would assist in identifying terrorists in the country, former Aviation and of course PDP chieftain, Femi Fani-Kayode, Sunday warned the Federal government led by President Muhammadu Buhari to jettison the idea of deploying soldiers on the streets.
Disclosing this via his Facebook handle, Femi said that the deployment of soldiers especially now that Nigerian youths are protesting against police brutality and extrajudicial killings by the operatives of the Special Anti Robbery Squad, SARS, would turn the #Endsars movement into #EndNigeria.
His words: “We will not wait before more blood is shed before we speak and before we send out this warning. We will not wait until there is another mindless and needless massacre and massive shedding of innocent blood by our security forces before we shout out.
We say this today, we say it without fear or favour and we say it for everyone, both friend and foe, to hear loudly and clearly: the determination to use brute force and to kill innocent young men and women in an attempt to crush this protest comes with a very heavy price tag and butchers bill.
The plan to deploy soldiers in our streets and to slaughter #EndSARS protesters in the same way that the Shiite Muslims and IPOB youths were once slaughtered by the military and security forces will be Lt. General Tukur Burutai and President Muhammadu Buhari’s biggest mistake and gravest error.
This must NEVER happen and if it is true that they are seriously contemplating it then they should reconsider and think again! If for ANY reason whatsoever, they go ahead, it will turn the #Endsars movement into the #EndNigeria movement and no force or power in hell or on earth will be able to resist or stop it. We warn again: do not unleash the dogs of war and demons of hell on these protestors.
Do not kill these INNOCENT, HARMLESS and DEFENCELESS young men and women who have courageously embarked on a LAWFUL and PEACEFUL protest and who are doing nothing more than exercising their constitutional right of freedom of speech and freedom of association.
The consequences of going ahead and doing so, amongst much else, will be that you will end up in the International Court of Criminal Justice and be prosecuted for crimes against humanity and genocide in the not too distant future.
I say it again, do not bite off more than you can chew, do not beat the drums of armed conflict and do not let slip the dogs of war! This matter can and must be handled with the utmost maturity and restraint by the Federal Government and in a peaceful, rational and reasonable manner.
These young men and women are fighting for their future: they cannot and will not be intimidated. The threat of mass murder or genocide or its actualization will not stop them: rather it will embolden them and turn them into martyrs for democracy.
A word is enough for the wise!.” Suffixing to his postulations, the Archbishop of Lagos, Alfred Martins, Catholic also took out time to advise FG over the deployment of soldiers. According to him: “Such a measure, if adopted, can only lead to injuries and possible deaths, and an escalation of the protests.
It has the tendency of turning the largely peaceful protests into a violent one. “We therefore urge the federal government to toe the line of engagement in dialogue, listening to the demands of the youth and other well-meaning Nigerians.
“We commend the government for acceding to the demands of the youth. Now, the whole country looks forward to practical steps that would be taken to implement them. “We believe that a sincere and transparent response to the demands of the young people would go a long way in resolving the present impasse.”