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*** (Jan 14, 1998)

SHOP OWNERS AT BAR BEACH PLEDGE SUPPORT FOR ABACHA

HUNDREDS of shop owners at the Bar Beach last week organised a one-day solidarity rally to demonstrate their support for the Federal Government transition programme and especially to condemn the recent coup attempt.

The rally which was organised by the Global Peace Movement and the National Crime Prevention Campaign in conjunction with the Eko Beaches Tourism Promoters Association, compelled most shop owners at the beach to close their shops for several hours as a mark of solidarity for the General Sani Abacha led government.

Speaking at the rally, Mr. Mike Uyi, president general of the Global Peace Movement advised the federal government to temper justice with mercy after its investigations and trials were concluded.

"Though we recognise that the clue process of law must take its full course, we strongly advocate that the federal government should be lenient because of peace and unity of this great country. Peace has no alternative," he asserted.

Uyi, who appealed to Nigerians in all walks of life to desist from creating or participating in actions that may lead to a breach of peace, also called on combatants in Ife/ Modakeke, Itsekiris/ Ijaws and the Ogpnis to stop all hostilities and let peace reign.

In a speech presented at the rally, retired Lt. Cdr. Ahmed Yahaya, the defence and security co-ordinator of the National Crime Prevention Campaign also condemned rhe recent coup attempt to violently overthrow the federal government.

He asserted that crime could be caused by greed, ignorance societal influence and peer pressure groups such as trying to copy friends on the fast lane, adding that wickedness and lack of respect for human life and property could be criminal. Yahaya identified as one of the prime causes of crime the lack of employment in the nation. This, said he, had been compounded by the demolition exercises carried out by government officials which had deprived some Nigerians of their means of livelihood without replacement.

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