Obi condemns violent protest in Kenya

Obi condemns violent protest in Kenya

Angry Kenya youths destroyed government buildings during protests against President Ruto’s controversial Finance Bill.

Peter Obi, the Labour Party presidential flag-bearer in the 2023 general elections, has condemned the ongoing violent protests in Kenya.

Obi expressed his displeasure while speaking to journalists in Onitsha, Anambra State, on Saturday, June 29, 2024.

The former Anambra State Governor said riots or destruction of government assets during protests is counterproductive thus bringing a setback to any country.

His comments followed the recent violence that characterised the ongoing protests in Kenya over a hike in taxes.

Young Kenyans have been expressing their grievance on the streets for days over the introduction of a controversial Finance Bill 2024 by President William Ruto.

The bill, which was withdrawn last Wednesday by Ruto, had sought to raise taxes across the board.

But things went awry earlier in the week when protesters stormed the Kenyan parliament, beat up some lawmakers, and vandalised properties.
Obi condemns violent protest

Reacting to the ongoing situation in Kenya, Obi declared his stance against violence during protests.

Though he said he’s in support of peaceful protests, he warned that such must not be done to satisfy the personal interest of some people.

The former Governor also recalled how he advised protesters during the #EndSARS movement to redirect their energy into electing good leaders to effect needed changes across all sectors.

“I am against riots or destruction of government assets and property, because it is still scarce resources that we are going to use to repair them, but I’m not against peaceful protests.

“Peaceful protest is allowed, but it must be for a reason and not personal interest of some people to satisfy a particular interest. It must be properly articulated and properly directed.

“I recall when people said they were protesting police brutality and I said to them no, let’s rather deal with the leadership. If we have good leaders, their agents can’t be bad. The problem is leadership. If the leaders are competent, have the capacity and doing the right thing, their agents will follow their examples.

“I want to use this opportunity to say that all those who are being held because of one protest or the other should be released. Whether it is freedom fighters, EndSARS protesters, or even because of freedom of speech, be it journalists, let them all be released immediately.

“We are in a democratic country and people have right under the constitution to express themselves freely. They also have right to peacefully protest and we must listen to them.

We must listen to those who say they are not happy, that is why it is a democratic nation. We should stop acting dictatorial and behave as if this is not a democratic country,” he said.


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