The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, on Sunday quoted the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), as telling families to turn back children who bring home unaccounted goods.
He added that wives must ask their husbands to return looted items brought home.
Shehu disclosed these in a statement titled “Again, President Buhari condemns loss of lives, appeals for peace and brotherhood.”
He said the President, who commended the judicial panel of inquiry set up by the “Lagos State Government, one of the more dozen states to do so,” expressed his full support and optimism that such would assist the nation to give justice to peaceful protesters who lost their lives, security men who were murdered and property owners whose assets were vandalised and looted.
Shehu said a government that had launched a massive crackdown on corruption, brought in strong laws for a decisive battle against corruption, pursues loot recovery at home and abroad, and taken strong decisions against those who thought they were above the law, would not fold its arms when an otherwise legitimate and peaceful protest is turning into free-for-all vandalism and looting.
He said while the administration has blocked many means of looting public money in a war against corruption, it is the expectation that all civil authorities, community and religious leaders in the country must rise against the organised looting and plunder the nation is witnessing in parts of the country.
He added, “Families must turn back children who bring home unaccounted goods, in the same way wives must ask their husbands to return looted items brought home.
“What is more, is that criminal actions as we have so far witnessed can weaken and erode the confidence of our people and that of foreign businesses in investing in the economy.
“Looting and vandalism will hurt trade and investment growth in our country, both large and small industries, as well as our hardworking people in the informal sectors of the economy.
“These incidents do not reflect well on any society. They are wrong and condemnable and should not be supported by reasonable members of society.”
The presidential aide further quoted Buhari as commending the decision of the Lagos State Ministry of Justice to prosecute 229 suspects arrested by the police for allegedly using the #EndSARS protest to destroy and loot public and private property.
“As mentioned in two successive statements on the issues, the President and his administration have taken note of the grievances of the people. ‘We have heard you loud and clear,’ he said, and has shown a clear determination to take all necessary measures to address the complaints. The violence must stop.
“President Buhari also condemned hate messages and eviction notices to ethnic and religious groups asking Nigerians to take pride in the fact that our diverse people have been living with one another in harmony for ages.
“The right of all citizens to live and work in any part of the country is a constitutional right and will be defended by the government,” he added.