#EndSARS: Our youths deserve national broadcast from Buhari ― Lukman, DG Progressives Governors Forum
Director-General of the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF), Dr Salihu Lukman, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to consider a special national announcement to address the demands of Nigerian youths behind the widespread agitation for the already proscribed Special Anti- Robbery Squad, otherwise tagged #EndSARS Protests.
Lukman offered the suggestion in a press statement he issued at the weekend in Abuja.
Certain individuals have since accused President Buhari of indifference to the raging protest which is taking tolls on economic activities in major cities across the country.
The DG of the Forum of governors on the platform of the APC noted that the action of those behind the phenomenal occupation of cities in the country was reflective of the disconnect between those in leadership positions in the country and the ruled.
He maintained that such a national announcement should be laced with employment opportunities and special credit facilities to promote business initiatives of the dispossessed graduates. He expressed the hope that such initiatives would go a long way to placate the youths whom he admitted were genuinely aggrieved.
He said:” Our party, APC, and our leaders should be able to provide the needed leadership, which cannot be easily determined with reference to for or against the protest by young people. It must be based on honest recognition of the problem and therefore ensuring that our party and our leaders are genuinely committed for open engagement with our young people to solve the problem. Accordingly, consideration should be given to creating some employment opportunities at Federal and state levels for young people. In addition to employment opportunity, some credit facilities to support business initiatives of young people should be introduced. Whether through Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (SMEDAN), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) or special arrangement, a coordinating structure involving the representatives of young people should be established to administer the implementation of the credit scheme.
“Specific to the protest by our young people, to end the protest will require that at the highest level, perhaps the President, the government should make special announcement making all the offers, which cover how government intend to meet the demands of the protesters. The announcement should come with special appeal to young people and invite them to nominate representatives for engagement towards implementation. The process of getting the nomination of young people should be carefully and transparently handled. The government announcement, therefore, should appeal to the young people to allow a period of at least one week to ensure that appropriate mechanism is put in place towards the implementation of government initiatives to resolve the problems. Within the period, the protesting young people should suspend the protest.”
Lukman equally counselled forces behind the movement to seize the opportunity of their present action to win landmark political concessions, which should include access to opportunities for leadership responsibilities by young people.
“It is such a difficult reality. Yet, the government and our party must do everything possible to resolve the problems and end the protest. Just as we appeal to our political leaders, we need to also appeal to our young people, especially the underground leaders to see beyond the protest by taking the necessary steps to win landmark political concessions, which should include access to opportunities for leadership responsibilities by young people. Part of what this generation of young leaders must avoid is the unfortunate repeat of the mistake of our 1990s generation of activists when with all the political opportunities after a difficult pro-democracy struggle, in 1998/1999 we failed to take advantage of political transition and participate in politics.”
#EndSARS: Our youths deserve national broadcast from Buhari