EndSARS Protest: After COVID-19, we can’t afford another crisis — Oyetola

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Abimbola Abatta, Osogbo

The Governor of the State of Osun, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola, on Tuesday, said Nigeria cannot afford another crisis as the nation is still battling with the effects of COVID-19 pandemic.

He said this is the time for the nation to properly harness its potentials for quick economic recovery rather than engaging in things that can degenerate into national disintegration and disunity.

Governor Oyetola who stated this at the Government House, Osogbo, while receiving Local Government Chairmen in the State, warned youths in the state to be wary of being used by people with evil intentions who are already hijacking the protest for criminal gains.

He reiterated that the demands of the youths were legitimate and that they had succeeded in registering those demands, which in all fairness were already being addressed at both Federal and State level.

In his words: “The aspect of the movement that has become worrisome is that the genuine intentions of protesting youths have been hijacked by people who have ulterior motives. A number of states are beginning to have unpleasant stories to tell about the distasteful outcomes of this protest. This is rather unfortunate.

“Given that we just barely survived a pandemic, we cannot afford another crisis. This is the time to invest efforts in working for the economic recovery of our states and the nation at large, not engage in violence.

“We, therefore, wish to appeal to youths that it is okay to make their demands known, but they should also show understanding and give the government time to act on their demands. This is particularly important to avoid playing into the hands of political thugs who are using the protest as a platform to advance their devious cause.

“Reforms are not what any government can achieve in a day or two. It is not a talk show. What we need is a comprehensive systemic intervention.

“Don’t join the bandwagon of destruction. The protest has come and it will end, but the properties that have been destroyed will remain destroyed afterwards and cost the government a lot of money to fix. The state cannot afford for its infrastructure to be destroyed in the cause of agitations”, Oyetola stated.

Responding to the solidarity visit, Oyetola appreciated the local government chairmen, tasking them to take charge of the security of their respective councils, as the security of the state belongs to all.

He also enjoined citizens to provide useful information to security agencies whenever they notice suspicious of violence in their localities.

Oyetola continued: “The security of our state rests on all of us. If you have any information about anything that could breach the peace and security of the state, do not hold back helpful details.

“We are also appealing to our commercial motorcycle riders to be careful not to aid criminalities. You are important stakeholders in the state and we see your struggles. We see you as responsible citizens and you should not become tools in the hands of people with wrong motives.”, Oyetola stated.