#EndSARS protest, wakeup call for youth’s engagement, empowerment, says Sanwo-Olu

•Reels out plans for youths in 2021 budget

Lagos State governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said that the recent EndSARS protest must be seen as a wakeup call for government at all levels to do more for the younger people as they were demanding for better opportunities and engagements.

Sanwo-Olu said this on Friday at the commissioning of the newly constructed 28-room Senator Bayo Osinowo Administrative block at Agboyi Ketu Local Council Development Secretariat, Agboyi Road, Alapere.

The governor said there was an need, more than ever before, for government at all levels to prioritize youth development, empowerment and mentoring.

He noted that as the state prepared for a new fiscal year, adequate plans were needed to be put in place to, more than the current year, ensure that the welfare of the young people, women, elderly and the physically challenged were well catered for.

“At the state level, we have made special provision for youth capacity development in the 2021 Budget presented to the Lagos State House of Assembly. This is in addition to the ongoing youth empowerment programmes, including the Graduate Internship Programme under which 4000 young graduates would be engaged and paid monthly stipend of N40,000 for 6 months.

“The Local Government as the tier of government closest to the people has a huge responsibility to deliver much more dividends of democracy to the people in the local communities in order to feel the direct impact of governance.

“Let me use this opportunity to commend the young people of Agboyi- Ketu LCDA for ensuring that public assets especially the Council Secretariat did not suffer destruction, vandalization or looting during the EndSARS protest which was hijacked by hoodlums. Public infrastructures are part of our common wealth provided with public funds and members of the communities where they are located must take responsibility to protect and preserve such assets against vandalization as witnessed in the past couple of weeks,” Sanwo-Olu said.

Speaking further, Governor Sanwo-Olu said it was within the constitutionally guaranteed right of all citizens to express their grievances through protest, but pointed out that it was a criminal act to engage in wilful destruction, vandalization and looting of public assets and private properties under any guise.

According to him, destruction of public assets will set the state back and slow down the pace of progress as scarce public funds that should be expended on providing new infrastructure for citizens would be spent on replacing the destroyed ones.

He appealed to all residents to continue to live in peace and ensure that there is unity and mutual understanding among all people of diverse ethnic and religious background, declaring that Lagos remains a home to all law-abiding residents.

“Destruction of public assets will set us back and slow down the pace of progress as scarce public funds that should be expended on providing new infrastructure for citizens would be spent on replacing the destroyed ones.

“My appeal to all residents is to continue to live in peace and ensure that there is unity and mutual understanding among all people of diverse ethnic and religious background as Lagos remains a home to all law-abiding residents.”

Also, the governor on Friday commissioned a newly constructed three storey ultra modern, Apapa Iganmu LCDA Secretariat.

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