The Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun has commended originators of the protest against police brutality, adding that the peaceful protests has called to genuine concerns about the mode of operation and activities of the now disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad(SARS)
Penpushing reports that, Abiodun said this at a press conference held in his office on Monday, but expressed displeasure on how the protest was hijacked by hoodlums and other elements who do not share same ideals as the original conveners
The Governor pointed out that, it was also commendable that the protesters listening to the voice of reason to suspend the protest, adding that the youths in Ogun State have earned national accolades for the largely peaceful manner with which they conducted themselves while the protest lasted, despite infiltration of the initial protest by hoodlums.
‘Let me also commend the original conveners of the #EndSARS movement for listening to the voice of reason to suspend the protest. The peaceful protest called our attention to genuine concerns about the mode of operation and activities of the now disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police’, he said.
‘But, it is obvious that this protest was hijacked by hoodlums and other elements who do not share the same ideals as the original conveners of the well intended protest. The youths in Ogun State have earned national accolades for the largely peaceful manner with which they conducted themselves while the protest lasted’
Penpushing also reports that, the Governor appreciated all people of goodwill for their spirited efforts towards restoring peace, which include security agencies; traditional rulers; religious leaders; community leaders; for the participation in the continuous engagement and moral persuasion with the listening youths.
The Governor, however, explained that his administration owe duty to protect lives and property, stressing that, ‘we have a responsibility to protect those who are not part of the protest, who wish to go about their legitimate means of livelihood.
‘In this regard, we took some measures to stem the then emerging violent dimension and I am glad that those measures have helped to restore normalcy. However, we are not lowering our guards as there are still reports of isolated disturbance. But our security agencies are on top of the situation. I can assure you that there is no cause for alarm’.
‘You will also recall that our State has fully implemented the 5-point resolutions of the National Economic Council meeting of Thursday, 15th October, 2020 following the demands of the #EndSARS protest’.
‘On our part, we implemented three additional measures, all of which are aimed at meeting the demands of our youth and giving them assurances of our commitment to faithful implementation of initiatives that will bring lasting solution to brutality of security agencies’.
Penpushing reports that, Abiodun said the government would continue to commend all law enforcement agencies in the State for their maturity, dedication and great restraint in handling the protest, stressing that not all police are bad in conduct.
‘However, we must not allow the few bad eggs to tar the entire police force with one brush. They need to be encouraged, motivated and supported to have the police that we will all be proud of’, he emphasised.
The Governor commiserated with the families of civilians and security officers who have lost their lives and those who have lost their properties in the course of violence in different parts of the country.
‘These deaths and arson are unfortunate and unwarranted. I reassure all the people of Ogun State that we will continue to ensure the safety of lives and properties. We plead with our citizens to go about their businesses peacefully’.
‘Our combined teams of law enforcement agents have been put on the alert to protect public buildings and similar properties belonging to the government and other prominent facilities in all locations around Ogun State. Please call 112 to report any suspicious activities, molestation or harassment’.
Penpushing further reports that, he sought the continued support, cooperation, collaboration and prayers of people, adding that, towards this, the government will intensify and continue to engage all the various segments of the population.
‘In this regard, we will be launching this week, another youth empowerment program targeting 5,000 youth with 250 in each of our 20 local Governments Areas. The programme will provide skills and capacity building as well as stipends whilst the participants are attached to small and medium scale enterprises and government agencies’.
‘I enjoin all of us to go about our legitimate businesses. The Government will continue to monitor the situation. But in the meantime, as our security agencies on joint patrol have been able to largely bring the situation under control, they will continue to patrol the major streets to ensure peace and tranquility in the day-to-day activities of citizens’.