Richard Ginika Izuora
Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, on Sunday, November 15, said he would join other Nigerians towards supporting the #EndSARS agitations; saying he had been a victim of police brutality in the past.
In a similar manner, the Minister of Trade, Industry, and Investment, Chief Adeniyi Adebayo, assured Nigerians that President Muhammadu Buhari would listen; and implement all the demands made by the youth during the EndSARS protest.
The Governor and Minister spoke during an interactive session held by stakeholders’ on the recent EndSARS protest that resonated panic across the country recently.
Governor Fayemi said the case of Police brutality was one issue that affects every facet of the society; revealing that he was a victim in 2014 while seeking reelection.
According to the Governor, this happened during the 2014 electoral defeat to his predecessor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose.
Fayemi stated he was teargassed by a team of Police operatives at the Mugbagba area of Ado Ekiti; while some APC Governors were prevented from entering the State to campaign for him; having been allegedly stopped by security agencies at the borders.
Describing the youths as the engine room of the nation’s economy; Governor Fayemi stated that there was a need for the governments to partner the youth for sustainable peace and development.
“The EndSARS protest was a noble course. It was supported here in Ekiti not because of those involved, but for the reason behind the action which we believe would help the police to do their jobs.
“The youth protest in Ekiti was well-intentioned and peaceful. The right to peaceful protest is an inalienable right. For the first time, we have a panel of inquiries at every level of government to tackle our issues.
“We must not resort to violence as a solution to our agitations. We must all speak in unison against violence as we did in unison against Police brutality.
“Our youth are angry because as they were coming out of the closure of schools over coronavirus pandemic, they entered into ASUU strike, then there is hunger in the land and the harsh economic situation in our country.
“The government has done many intervention programmes and had proscribed SARS and introduced youth investment fund and many others as a response to the youth agitations.
“I commiserate with the families of those who paid the supreme price. We identify with them. The panels that we set up will look into the reasons behind the protest and how best to address the issues raised because the #EndSARS protest had placed a moral burden on all of us that we must be vigilant.
“I am a victim of police brutality myself. You could all recall what happened to me during my election of 2014. But some policemen had also rendered good services to me, so not all of them are bad.
“Our police must be motivated to do well. Policemen must be well remunerated. There must be good motivation for the police to be able to discharge their duties effectively.”