The federal and Ekiti State governments on Sunday held an interactive session to review last month’s #EndSARS protest, during which they called for peace for sustainable development.
Ekiti was one of the states badly affected by the youth protest, leading to the burning of properties, including police stations and vehicles.
The state government had earlier set up a panel of inquiry to look into the allegations of police brutality and make recommendations.
At the meeting, stakeholders urged the federal government to effectively engage the youth in productive ventures and involve them in the formulation and implementation of government policies.
The session noted that youth unemployment, insecurity, collapse of the education sector and bad governance were some of the factors responsible for EndSARS protest.
The participants also canvassed the inclusion of the youth in all levels of government as well as empowerment that enables them to occupy their rightful position in the society, as against being used as political thugs.
They also noted that the institutionalisation of corruption at all level of government has retarded the growth and development of the country.
The session unanimously called on the federal government to initiate more policies and programmes targeted at building and developing the youth to make them more responsive and resourceful to national development.
Speaking at the event, which was held in Ado Ekiti, the Governor Kayode Fayemi, said the EndSARS protest underscored the need for understanding and harmony as necessary conditions for sustainable economic growth and development that would tackle poverty, hunger and inequality.
The session featured the Minister of Trade, Investment and Industry, NIyi Adebayo; professional, trade and youth organisations and traditional rulers.
It was jointly organised by the federal and Ekiti State governments to draw lessons from the EndSARS protest.
The governor said the same strength of unity that the youth used to agitate against police brutality must be channelled towards sustaining peaceful coexistence in the country.“In view of the aftermath of the EndSARS protest, there is the need for sustainable peace in Ekiti State,” said the governor.
“Peace is a key component of sustainable development, a healthy environment is important for development.
“While the need to end police brutality is genuine, peaceful coexistence is also sacrosanct, we must work together to achieve both.
“On the desire for sustainable development in Ekiti State, we need a functioning government, sound business environment, equitable distribution of resources, acceptance of the rights of others, good relationship with our neighbours, free flow of information, human capital development, transparency and accountability in government.
“The promotion of peaceful and relative development reduces poverty and prevents conflicts, translating to a healthy society that allows more effective delivery of dividends of democracy.”
Mr Fayemi noted that some intervention programmes had been rolled out by the federal government to alleviate poverty and hardship.
He said the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) is synergising with the federal government to work out modalities for solving the challenges that led to the ENDSARS protest.
Mr Fayemi said his administration was committed to ensuring a conducive environment for the youth to thrive through sustainable policies and programmes.
The stakeholders meeting brought together traditional rulers, legislators, members of the State Executive Council, various ethnic groups, civil society organizations, politicians, youths, trade unions and women groups
Mr Adebayo, in his remarks, said the meeting was in furtherance to the directives of President Mohammadu Buhari that all members of the Federal Executive Council should meet with stakeholders in their respective states to deliberate on the aftermath of the EndSARS protest.
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The minister who urged youths in the state to key into the various programmes of the federal government promised to convey the recommendations of the interactive session to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for necessary actions.
Other stakeholders at the meeting were the Deputy Governor, Bisi Egbeyemi, Ekiti State Commissioner of Police, Tunde Mobayo; Speaker of Ekiti State House of Assembly, Funminiyi Afuye, Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Wale Fapohunda; Head of Service, Peju Babafemi; and the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Biodun Omoleye.
The Chairman of the state Council of Obas and Alawe of Ilawe, Oba Adebanji Alabi, led scores of traditional rulers to the event.