The Ukhomunyio Youth Association, also known as UYA, has issued a vehement condemnation of a protest that took place in the Okpella community of Edo State a month ago. This demonstration resulted in the deaths of two young people and injured others.
The Association issued a statement on Sunday that was signed by its National President, Omoalu Merry, and its General Secretary, Afiabor God’sluck Sunday. In the statement, the Association urged the government’s security services to find the protest’s organizers and bring them to justice.
The organization distanced itself from the demonstration and expressed regret that none of its entreaties to discourage the organizers from carrying out the regrettable action were heard by them.
The UYA issued the following statement in response: “We vehemently condemn it and call on the security agencies to come against the culprit.”
The following is an excerpt from the UYA statement, which is titled “Our position on the violence of the 28th day of June 2023 in Okpella and the need to bring culprits to book”:
“We the undersigned, Youth Leaders of Ukhomunyio Community, have evaluated the terrible and preventable crises of the 28th day of June 2023, which can only be best described as unfortunate, and have chosen to publish this press release. “We the undersigned, Youth Leaders of Ukhomunyio Community”
“The regrettable protest resulted in the premature deaths of two otherwise healthy young men and left a few others with injuries of varying degrees.
If the organizers of the demonstration in question had listened to the voice of reason, rather than ignoring it, the demonstration in question would have stayed a myth rather than a reality.
“We are people who value peace, and as such, we will not condone needless youth turmoil in our town.
“We understand and encourage peaceful protest of any form, as long as it is borne out of genuine interest and intention, particularly for the betterment of our community.”
“But we must state unequivocally that we condemn any form of rascality under the guise of protest, which we undeniably saw on the 28th day of June, 2023,” the statement continued. “We have no tolerance for such behavior.”
“Protests are not something that only occurs for the sake of passing time. They take place as a result of sincere curiosity. They are only brought up if and when amicable engagements have been struck with the various parties interested. It does not take the shape of ‘cult regroupings’ nor does it demonstrate strength by spectacle.
Because it is a legitimate enterprise, there are a number of standards and guidelines to follow. To put any doubts to rest, as soon as we became aware of the planned demonstration, we immediately dialed the number listed for the event’s organizers and demanded that they put an immediate end to the demonstration because all evidence suggested that it lacked a solid foundation and identity.
“As a community, we put some space between ourselves and it. However, unfortunately, the organizers went ahead and put the whole community in a condition of topsy-turvy and hullabaloo from which it will take a very long time to recover. This is something that will take a very long time to recover from.
“Our elderly mothers and fathers were the ones who bore the brunt of the consequences of the acts and emotions that resulted from them. It was undeniably offensive to the eyes. We have the utmost contempt for those responsible and demand that law enforcement investigate and apprehend them.
“In no way, shape, or form was this an affair that involved Ukhomunyio. In point of fact, they brought shame upon us and made us susceptible to the response of the Nigerian Army.