By Benjamin Omoike
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, his Osun State counterpart, Governor Gboyega Oyetola and First Lady of Lagos State, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, on Wednesday urged Nigerian youths protesting against police brutality, to remain calm and allow their elected representatives take up the challenge from where they left off.
Speaking at the 20th National Women virtual conference of the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO), held at Eko Hotels and Suites in Lagos on Wednesday, Governors Sanwo-Olu and Oyetola said government is ready to do things differently and positively.
Governor Sanwo-Olu appealed to the youths to allow the effects of the protests go down and allow government to play its role in meeting their demands.
He said: “I want to humbly request and appeal to our youths that their voices have been heard; their grievances have been well taken; their cause is a just and important cause. We have listened to them and listened to them very well. Government more than ever before will do things differently and positively. We can all see the efforts we have started since yesterday and today going forward.
“I want to appeal once again that because of the global pandemic that we have witnessed over last six to seven months, the youths should let the effects of the protest go down. And they should know that their voice has been heard, let government play their roles and play it well.”
Stressing the need for the protesters to slow down the protests, which has led to traffic gridlocks and close of business activities in different parts of Lagos State and other parts of Nigeria, Governor Sanwo-Olu noted that: “Businesses have suffered; people are just coming back to businesses. It would be unfair for those businesses not to be able to get back on their feet again because we have a larger social economic effect.
“I know and I appreciate the challenges that all of you are going through. I appreciate the unfortunate incident that has happened to some of our youths. But like I said, we have heard you and we heard you very well.
“Please let those changes that you asked for, let them begin to happen. We have made commitments in Lagos State and other states too have made commitments. Let us see the effects of those changes and commitments we have given.”
Earlier in his address, Governor Sanwo-Olu said the agitations by the youths is a clarion call for parents, leaders and opinion moulders for a new agenda.
“I acknowledge and thank our teeming youths out there on the End Police brutality and End SARS that we all witnessed in the last almost a week now. It is a clarion call for we parents. It is a clarion call for we leaders. It is clarion call for we opinion moulders that our children have issued us a new agenda, a new position for us to look at,” he said.
In his keynote address, Governor Oyetola said the leaders were ready to join the voice of reason, to make Nigeria a better place.
“Let me appeal to our youths protesting against police brutality to remain calm and allow their elected representatives to take up the challenge from where they left off.
“We are convinced as leaders and we are ready to join the voice of reason to make Nigeria a better place,” the governor said.
Also speaking, Dr. (Mrs) Sanwo-Olu, who is the Chairman of COWLSO, assured the youths that their demands with regards to Police reforms would be implemented by government.
She said: “As mothers, we observe things before we speak but we are aware of the situation in the country. We thank God for Lagos State and the cabinet for listening to the plight of the youth.
“As members of COWLSO, we support ending police brutality. I know Mr President is aware of the demands of the youths with regards to police reforms which they have said would be implemented. I believe, we shall overcome.”