The Plateau Lawmakers’ Caucus at the National Assembly, has condemned the looting and destruction of public and private properties in the state, following the hijack of the EndSARS protest by hoodlums.
The condemnation was made by the leader of the delegation, Sen. Istifanus Gyang, during their visit to commiserate with Gov. Simon Lalong, on the destruction.
He condemned the stampede to scramble for palliatives and the invasion of hoodlums on the peaceful protest, saying it was unfortunate.
“It is unfortunate that hoodlums took advantage of an organized peaceful process that was well intentioned, to bring havoc and cause mayhem in our nation.
“Our coming is to show solidarity with our people, to commiserate for the lives that have been lost and to identify with the state government and the people at large.
“We are here to say that whatever affects Plateau, we, as representatives of the people at the National level, are deeply concerned and we share the pain and the anguish of the people,” he said.
The senator suggested that priority be given to poverty alleviation and youth employment policies as a panacea to end youth restiveness.
He said such policies will further build the confidence of the population on government’s efforts to address poverty and hunger.
Earlier in his remarks, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Idris Ahmed, said that it was a sad moment for the state which is progressing well with peaceful coexistence.
He said issues raised by the youths during the protest are being addressed; assuring that government is sensitive to their plight.
He said that the ‘Not too Young Bill’ was passed to create platform for youth’s involvement in governance.
He expressed concern that the resources earmarked for developmental projects will be used for repair of destroyed properties.
Ahmed also pointed out that the violence will discourage potential investors from coming into the state, saying perpetrators of the act should be prosecuted.
Also in her remarks, the minister of women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen, appealed to parents to guide and direct their children on appropriate conducts.
She urged the Representatives to design ways of interacting with the youths, adding that community leaders at all levels should also replicate the gesture.
She said President Muhammadu Buhari has more than 25 intervention Programmes across various ministries for youth empowerment because he is committed to the well being of youths.
Responding, Gov Lalong thanked the visitors for their concern, saying the state has many Intervention programmes for youths before the pandemic.
He said criminality should not be justified as some of the places destroyed included public offices, private businesses and homes.
“When things are wrong, tell them and don’t condone them,” he told the legislators.
He urged the legislators to talk to members of their constituencies on good conduct, indicating that the 24-hour curfew imposed on the state will soon be reviewed.
Lalong said efforts are being made to organise a townhall meeting with youths on addressing their challenges, saying the solution is hinged on engagement, empowerment and employment.
Our Correspondent reports that the delegation, made up of Senators and Representatives, visited some of the destroyed properties at Jos International Breweries and Water Board.
Other places visited were the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and residence of former Speaker, Dogara Yakubu, among others, to assess the level of damages.