The Governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun, has stated that the Leaders in the country must ensure a paradigm shift on matters concerning the youths, adding that, they had always taken the youths for granted in the past, and for too long, Page 36 learnt.
He disclosed this in Abeokuta, the State capital, on Wednesday, when addressing the #ENDSARS Campaigners who marched on his office in a peaceful protest, at Oke-Mosan.
His words: “I think that in times past, we have sort of taken you for granted, and I am saying that with all sense of responsibility.
“We have taken our youths for granted, because the issues you are raising today, are not new to us. They are issues we have been living with for so many years.”
The Governor, added that the President Muhammadu Buhari Federal Government has no choice, but to listen to the voice of the protesters, stating that, the Nigeria Police and other Security Services need to put a stop to the brutalities being experienced across the country.
“The youths have a voice that must be given attention. The whole country has listened to you. As a matter of fact, the whole world is listening to you.
“You have demonstrated commitment, you have shown that you can rise up when the occasion warrants it, and you can speak out.”
He however, appealed to the youths to give the government a chance to start implementing the needed reforms of the Force, noting that, their action is an indication that they are citizens whose voices matter.
“Really, you have succeeded, and I think what you have to do, is to allow us to begin to see the implementation of these reforms. You know the implementation will not be instant, because it will take time for them to be visible.
“I want to plea with you, let us give these reforms a chance to work. Let us try and see how to wind down these protests.
“You have the right to protest anytime, as no one can take that away from you. What we must ask ourselves is, is the government committed, have they shown symbolism? I believe government symbolism.”
While acknowledging that there has been a breakdown of trust between the government and the citizens, Governor Abiodun explained that for it to be restored, citizens must trust their government to do what was right at all times.
He said that he has identified with the pains of the protesters, and as their representative, it is imperative he acts on their feedback, assuring that he and his colleagues are deliberating on how to ensure that their voice is not only heard, but their demands are met.
He stated that the government would not charge those arrested in the course of the protests, as he has ordered the release of those arrested for vandalising a Police Station and his Deputy’s car, by the Security Agents.
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