Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has appealed for calm, after protest against police brutality degenerated into a second day of violence.
In a broadcast on Thursday, October 22, the governor advised youths carrying out wanton destruction of properties “to have a rethink, pull back and allow the measures we have instituted to address our collective pain to play out”.
Governor Ugwuanyi said the “pervading resentment of police brutality and extra judicial killing” was understandable, adding that the “message had been loudly and clearly conveyed in the peaceful protest”.
He noted that his administration has shown sufficient commitment to resolve the issues, as evident in the “constitution of the Enugu State Judicial Panel of Inquiry into Police Brutality and Related Extra-judicial Killings, in which the youth, civil society and students are adequately represented”.
The 8-member judicial panel chaired by retired Justice Kingsley Ude has been inaugurated.
The governor who had earlier announced a 24-hour curfew that took effect 7.00pm on Wednesday, explained that the violence and criminality witnessed in parts of the capital were needless. “They have never solved societal problems, but rather compounded them. History is replete with examples,” he said.
“The events of yesterday do not represent the Enugu that we know. This is not our Coal City,” Governor Ugwuanyi pointed out.
He, however, sympathized with persons who “sustained injuries or had their properties damaged, in the course of lawful engagements”.
“Let us take back our hitherto peaceful Coal City from the hijackers of the peaceful protest and perpetrators of violence and criminality who not represent our collective wishes. Enugu is our common heritage, our home. And we deserve to live, work and rejoice in it.”