Stakeholders who brainstormed in Asaba, Delta State, at the weekend, urged the Federal Government to unfreeze the accounts of #EndSARS supporters and give the Nigerian youths a friendly environment to keep them off the streets.
They comprised civil society groups, non-governmental organisations, the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), media, youth parliament, student representatives, security institutions and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
The stakeholders gave the charge at the Delta Online Publishers Annual lecture with the theme: “Aftermath of #EndSARS-The Way Forward,” insisting all hands must be deck to end the #EndSARS protests that led to killing of demonstrators and destruction of property in the country.
At the one-day event, anchored by Vice Chairman of Delta State chapter of the Nigeria Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Godfrey Osakwe, they proffered immediate and far reaching solutions to the issues that snowballed into the #EndSARS protests.
The participants agreed that the initial aim of the protests was anchored on the need for a better Nigeria for all, good governance, better policing, jobs for all able and qualified Nigerian youths and a better future for generations yet unborn.
Osakwe said the agitation was a fallout of the attempt of political leaders to suppress the people and leave them in perpetual hunger and servitude, arguing that democracy guaranteed the people’s right to protest perceived injustice on the part of government.
“The Nigerian youths wanted an end to police brutality bad governance in Nigeria, though the destruction of property and killing of police officers was barbaric.
“We fault the freezing of accounts of some promoters of the protest and seizing their international passports, because such actions on government’s part was hypocritical, as they constitute no solution to the agitations of Nigerian youths.”
Director-General of Young Nigerian Rights, Victor Ojei, argued that unemployment was the major problem in Nigeria, adding: “If Nigerian youths have jobs in a good society that cares for its citizens, there wouldn’t have been protest of any kind.”
He unemployment had led many people to engage in wrong actions, adding that government needed to pursue industrialisation to create jobs for the teeming youths, pull them away from the streets as they get them gainfully engaged.
Osakwe added that if the government creates industries, it should manage them for a while and handover to private organisations that could run them for profit and productivity, and cautioned against politicising government programmes, as that would be counter-productive to the objectives of such initiatives.