Nigeria has reached out to the United Kingdom (UK) government to present its own side of the story concerning the threat by the latter’s parliamentarians to sanction officials indicted in the brutal suppression of recent #EndSARS protests.
Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, had previously dismissed the threats as not important.
Addressing journalists in Abuja on Wednesday, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, affirmed that the lawmakers were not responsible for imposing sanctions, but that Nigeria still found it necessary to give to the British government her own position to ensure a balanced perspective.
He said: “The U.K. government has been briefed. There was U.K. Parliamentarian meeting and U.K. government, which acts for the United Kingdom has also heard the side of the (Nigerian) government regarding everything that has happened.
“So, we have been in touch with them and engaging with them. As in every democracy, members of parliament are able to also able to air their view.
“What is important is that balanced picture is made available to them before they take any decision.”
On the meeting the presidency held with governors and stakeholders from South East over #EndSARS protests, Onyeama said that the leaders there agreed to create a victims fund to compensate and help victims of the violence.
They are also to engage more systematically with the youths to address the agitations as a result of #EndSARS and come up with a number of proposals in that context to see better funding of the police and other security agencies as a way to achieving the right goal in addressing the security offices.
According to the Minister, “they were also very keen to ensure and guarantee the safety of all Nigerians living within the zone and also thanked the other parts of the country for assuring the safety of those from the South East living in other parts of the country.
“They said they would set up a mechanism for constant dialogue with the youths and all the other stakeholders in the subregion.
“They appreciated very much that the enabling environment also had to be created so that the root causes of some of the agitations could be addressed and of course some of this enabling environment will be getting the economy back on track and they were supportive of the initiative of Mr. President in that regard.
“So, all in all, it was an initiative the grassroots welcomed, they said it was the first time the Federal Government was engaging with the youths.
“Two days later, another stakeholders meeting was organized by myself where all the Presidents-General from the State of Enugu were invited in addition to youths and traditional leaders.
“The discussions looked at larger issues of the country, governance issues and steps that could be taken to as it were stabilize the polity and to build a framework for peace, stability and development.”