Dear Lagos Youths,
Solidarity greetings to you at this crucial time.
There is no denial that our voice was not only heard vociferously, but the most vocal in the campaign against Police brutality, #EndSARS and the call for Nigeria police reforms in its entirety, before the unscrupulous ones leveraged our universally supported just cause to carry out their heinous acts of looting, arson, robbery, maiming, jailbreak, killing and other condemnable criminal acts.
It will be an understatement by just describing the struggle as a big success before the highjack without mentioning the well coordinated pattern, peaceful demonstration, unity, the indivisible alutaristic spirit adopted, and massive support (home and abroad) that characterized the #EndSARS protest across board, and particularly the Lekki Toll Gate spot before the intrusion of yet to be identified soldiers. Our sincere condolences go to those who lost loved ones in all parts of the country including the security agents.
May their souls rest in peace (Amen). They are the heroes and heroines of the successes achieved so far.
However, I beseech us to pick solace on the assurance from our dear Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu that perpetrators will be brought to book. This has been demonstrated by the constitution of the judicial panel of inquiry which includes three people from our constituency (The Youth) namely; Rinu Oduala, Majekodunmi Temitope and Lucas Koyejo.
The committee has begun sitting, which will run on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday 10am-4pm at the Lagos Court of Arbitration, 1A Remi Olowude Street, Maruwa Round about, Lekki Epe Expressway, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.
We are all enjoined to furnish the committee with necessary information that will assist them in serving us justice at the end of their duties and for the sake of the fallen heroes and ultimately foreclose the #EndSARS Struggle.
On the part Government, as exhibited in the appointment made so far which is a distant departure from the past where young people now forms the fulcrum of this administration. The youth friendly Governor of Lagos State has taken the concerns and agitations of youth beyond the #EndSARS crises, and with the complementary effort of ministry of youth and social Development led by the experienced and expertise of the current Commissioner for Youth with series of engaging/appealing initiatives and programs where youth complains, agitations and grieviances can be channelled without resorting to crises.
The SSA on Youth Development, Lagos State who is barely one month in office sees the recent development as a wake up call and has highlighted a series of initiatives that will robustly engage and involve the youth in business of governance and consequently eliminate or reduce youth agitations.
Some of these initiatives which will be forwarded to the Governor through the Commissioner for Youth and Social Development includes:
The compulsory inclusion of Youth Leader/ Representative in the monthly Peace and Security meeting at the local government and state level as a critical stakeholder to give the young people the opportunity to contribute and ventilate their grouses, complains, grievances rather than resorting to protest, unrest or crises.
Institutionalizing and financing of monthly or quarterly youth dialogue within the local government comprises of all ward youth leaders, religious youth leaders, communities youth leaders, e.t.c with the Supervisor for Youth of the local government in compulsory attendance to collate the complains and contributions of young people and report it at Local Government Executive Council Meeting. And same at the state level.
Publicity of the Local Government Executive Council meeting. Same at the state level.
Creation of the department of Youth Affairs at local government level just as the Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA) department at the local government level.
Return of the annual subvention to verified Voluntary Youth Group and NYCN.
Increase in the appointment and election of young people into political offices.
As the state of excellence and economic nerve centre of the nation and West Africa, Youth engagement and inclusion is not only central but in concomitant to the T.H.E.M.E agenda of the Governor Babajide Sanwoolu’s administration as exemplified in the handling of the #EndSARS issue in Lagos State.
Akanbi Ade Saheed
SSA on Youth Development to the Governor of Lagos State