Breaking

June 12: Arewa youth preaches peace, condemns planned violent protest 

The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has entirely condemned recent reports of plans by certain groups to disrupt June 12 Democracy Day celebrations by instigating chaos and violence.

AYCF in a statement by its President General, Yerima Shettima, strongly condemned any form of protest or demonstration intended to disrupt the peace and stability of Nigeria, particularly on the June 12 Democracy Day when the nation commemorates its hard-fought struggle for freedom and democracy.

“”The AYCF believes that any disturbance could undermine the significance of this symbolic day and strongly condemns any form of protest or demonstration that seeks to disrupt the peace and stability of our country, especially on a day as significant as Democracy Day. As a youth organization committed to the advancement and unity of our nation, we believe that peaceful dialogue and constructive engagement are the most effective tools for driving positive change and progress,” said Shettima.

While acknowledging the legitimacy of peaceful protests as a form of expression, Shettima warned that when such activities escalate into violence, it undermines the very principles of democracy that is being celebrated.

 “Though protest and demonstration are legitimate, when these activities escalate into violence, destruction of property, and endangering of lives, they no longer serve their intended purpose and instead it undermines the very democracy we seek to uphold,” Shettima noted.

Addressing the importance of Democracy Day, Shettima emphasised, “On a day like Democracy Day, when we commemorate the hard-fought struggle for freedom and democracy in our country, it is particularly important to uphold the values of peace, unity, and progress. Disrupting the peace and stability of our nation on such a significant day only detracts from the achievements and sacrifices of those who fought for our democracy.”

Shettima called on all Nigerians to use this day for reflection, gratitude, and solidarity. 

“Celebrating our Democracy Day should be a time for reflection, gratitude, and solidarity as we honor the sacrifices made by our forefathers to secure our freedom. It is a day when we should come together as one nation, setting aside our differences and focusing on the progress and development of our country,” he said.

To ensure that the day’s celebrations proceed without incident, Shettima urged the government to take decisive action, adding that “Maintaining law and order is crucial not only for the safety and security of the citizens but also for upholding the principles of democracy. The government has a responsibility to protect its people and ensure that they can exercise their rights and freedoms without fear of intimidation or violence.”

He further stated, “Any attempts to disrupt the peace and stability of the Democracy Day celebrations must be met with swift and severe consequences.Those who seek to sow chaos and disorder should be held accountable for their actions and face the full force of the law.”

In addition to punitive measures for potential troublemakers, Shettima advocated for increased security.

He said, “Increased security measures, including the deployment of law enforcement personnel and the implementation of crowd control measures, should be put in place to deter any potential threats to public safety.”