The entrance to the Delta State Government House in Asaba was, on Tuesday, barricaded by thousands of youths protesting against the now-disbanded Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS).
Movement in and out of the government House in Asaba was hampered for several hours as the protesters demanded to have an audience with the state governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa.
They were not deterred by the torrential rains which drenched them for several hours just as security operatives maintained safe distance to avoid confrontation with the youths.
Addressing the youths, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa said the ongoing nationwide protests for an end to police brutality in the country was a reflection of leadership and family failures over the years, adding that there wouldn’t have been need for the protests if leaders were accountable to the people.
He told them that as youths of the nation, they had every right to organise themselves to protest against societal ills.
The governor announced the constitution of a five-member Police Complaints Committee, with two representatives of the youths as members.
He commended the youths for conducting the protest peacefully and acknowledged that some of the issues raised by the protesters were germane and would be addressed.
“I want to appreciate all of you for ensuring that you are conducting a very peaceful protest; there can be nothing better than peace and that gives me a lot of feeling that our youths can be better organised.
“I am glad that you have gathered yourself nationwide to protest this injustice as regards police brutality.
“I know that through social media we are able to organise ourselves, but I can see a lot of maturity in your organisation and I must commend you for that.
“On our part as leaders we acknowledge the gap and that we have failed even as parents. In my own home, when my children spoke concerning this protest, I realised that they were as pained as you and that is the same pain that every Nigerian youth is going
Earlier, Spokesman of the protesters, Mr Emmanuel Udezua, had said that youths across the nation were ‘in pains’ over the brutalities of policemen on them, and urged the governor to use his good office to prevail on all stakeholders to end the excesses of police personnel.
#ENDSARS: Youths barricade govt house in Delta