EndSARS: Govt/citizens should accord priority to peace, progress now, ENACT advises

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• Urges Kwara govt/labour for understanding on minimum wage

Engineer Nurudeen Adeyemi Balogun (ENACT) on Tuesday called on government at all levels to proactively accommodate the demands of the youths under the aegis of #EndSARS and begin to handle the demonstrations with more tact which he said would help douse tension and pull the nation out of anarchy.

Adeyemi said while the authorities showed patience earlier over the nationwide protests against police brutality, as has been seen in some of the steps taken on the #5 of 5 requests in some states, the recent spate of riots and attacks cannot afford to linger.

In his words: “I salute the unwavering spirit of our youths on their demand for reform in the police force and upscale in quality of governance. It is only right that government accede to their requests in the interest of peace and progress of the country.

“Peaceful protest is a strong ingredient of a well-cooked democracy anywhere in the world. Nigeria cannot be an exception.

“However, there is a need to preserve the protests as being peaceful. The riotous turn of events in some parts of the country especially Lagos is worrisome. On no account should bodies of young ones be piling on our roads, making mournful stories of loss and grief.

“I am clearly against the #Lekkishooting and strongly sympathize with the victims. In the same vein, attacks on shops and businesses, public properties, and personalities must stop. Those are not the worthy cause of actions. It must stop now. It is apt that everyone gives a big room for peace to reign in the interest of national security and development. In the meantime, honest steps must be taken to fish out perpetrators of these heinous acts and care should be given to the victims as necessary.”

The Engineer, meanwhile, encouraged the Federal government and NASS representatives to look at the issues raised and begin to take the necessary steps to make amends particularly in the areas of Criminal Justice Reform, Human Rights, Insecurity and Youth Unemployment.

In the statement, he also commended Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq for taking proactive steps in identifying with the yearnings of the youths and the masses on police brutality and the minimum wage in Kwara.

“The swift set up of the judicial panel to look into the various alleged cases of police brutality by the Governor days after he marched with the protesters in Ilorin is commendable. Empathy and responsiveness are key leadership qualities. They must come in a high dose at this particular time. It is equally good he could reach compromise with labour leaders to call off the strike adversely affecting our people.

“I am glad that the union leaders see that the infrastructural development of the people needs to go side by side with salary adjustments of the civil servants. It is valid. Both should explore negotiations to the fullest in the interest of all,” he said.

Engineer Adeyemi also called for labour’s understanding and implored them to prioritize overall development of the state in their ongoing negotiations with the government over minimum wage.

He lauded Kwara youths for their contributions to governance and social development, urging them to maintain calm and orderliness in their activities across the state.

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