The Imo State Governor, Sen. Hope Uzodinma has lauded the peaceful protest of youths in the state while calling for an end to police brutality.
The Governor on a write-up on his facebook page said “any Political class that ignores their youths is mortgaging its future, as a Government, we have decided to back you up”
There is more (below) to his interaction with the youth in Imo state.
These were part of my engagement with the protesters in front of the Imo State Government House, Owerri today.
I am in solidarity with their demands that far-reaching reforms be carried out in the Nigerian Police to bring the operations of the personnel at par with what is obtainable in the civilized world.
Furthermore, I urged the youths to trust me to ensure that all the issues they raised concerning police brutality, unlawful detention of Nigerian youths, harassment, extortion, poor remuneration and comprehensive reformation in the police are brought to the attention of the powers that be, particularly, President Muhammadu Buhari.
Addressing the #EndSARS protesters, I maintained that I am in support of the peaceful protest to the extent that youths are critical stakeholders in the society and anything that concerns them should be taken seriously because they are leaders of today and tomorrow.
I thanked the youths for conducting themselves in a manner that did not offend public interest and acknowledged that at the political level, we have met and agreed that the complaints of the Nigerian youths are genuine and must be promptly addressed.
Preliminary investigations have revealed that the relationship between SARS operatives and the youths, including students at the tertiary institutions, has not been cordial.
The disbandment of defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) is not the only solution, but the protests have provided an opportunity for government to look inwards to see what reforms are necessary in the Nigerian Police vis a vis their welfare, remunerations, training, amongst other things they need, to be globally compliant in their mode of operation.
No Nation with its senses will ignore the grievances of the youths because if the Nation does so, it would have squandered her destiny. If a nation appreciates the capacity building of her youth population, that Nation must have created a better tomorrow for herself.
Going forward, the matter under contention will be taken very seriously.
I however enjoined the youths to be their own-man and not to allow anybody, or any political interest to hijack the protest. I advised them to go about their businesses in a manner that nobody will molest them.
Again, I assured the youths of my partnership. Our government is working hard to create an enabling environment where every youth will go about their businesses, earning their living genuinely without unnecessary and undue molestations by any person or group of persons.
On the call for Nigeria to embark on reform and retraining of the Police, I maintained that our Police officers must be trained to be able to match their counterparts all over the world and we are going to do that.
I reinforced the general notion that the youths are not protesting against the police doing their work, but said that their agitation is that they should do their work according to International standard. I align myself with these concerns in totality.
I assured them that there will be no attacks on them and that nobody will hold the protest against them, reiterating that I have taken their message and will ensure that the message gets to the President of Nigeria who also believes that the right thing must be done.
I promised the youths that as the Governor of Imo State, the police must do their job in an ethical manner that will not offend the sensibility of the citizens.
“The audience was an opportunity to call on Imo youths to work together with me to repair Imo State. As it were, we are doing everything possible to bequeath to the next generation, quality youths that will meet the dreams of the founding fathers of the State” the governor said.