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EndSARS protests, a reflection of leadership failure ~ Okowa

As Nigerian youths continue to sustain the #EndSARS protest across the country, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, has maintained that the protest was a reflection of leadership failure.

Okowa, who stated this while addressing #EndSARS protesters in Asaba, said the youths had every right to organise themselves to protest whatever they felt was wrong in the society.

Insisting that there would not have been need for the protests if Nigerian leaders were accountable to the people, the governor announced the establishment of a five-man Police Complaints Committee with tworepresentatives of the youths as members.

Okowa said: “I want to appreciate all of you for ensuring that we 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’m glad you have gathered yourself nationwide to protest this injustice as regards #PoliceBrutality. I do know that through the social media we are able to organise ourselves but I can see a lot of maturity in your organization and I must commend you for that.

“On our part as leaders we do acknowledge the gap and that we have failed even as parents. Even in my very 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 Nigeria youth is going through.

“As leaders, this protest has also brought to the fore that we have failed ourselves. Your voice have been heardloud and clear, SARS has been banned but I assure you we are not keeping quiet.

“When I commended the IGP for disbanding SARS, I did acknowledged that it was not enough, there is need for further reform and re-orientation of the entire Police Force.

“The issues of adequate remuneration, training and discipline of the Police Force must be looked into critically in the reform process. It is about reformation of the entire police and it is about ensuring that our nation is peaceful.

“We do realize that the police have a role to play in ensuring Democratic governance but they must be played in such a manner that is in favour of civil defence, but unfortunately some of them have put the name of the Police Force in bad light.

“I plead that you organize yourselves better in the best interest of our nation Nigeria where youths will be able to go out without being harassed or exploited by the security agencies.

“I appeal to you to counsel others toremain peaceful and be law-abiding even as you go about your daily activities.

“Having made your voices heard and having made our elders to realise that we have failed as leaders, please give us some time to work things out with key stakeholders.”

He assured that government at all levels would engage the Police authorities and other stakeholders to meet their demands.

Speaking earlier on behalf of the protesters, Mr Emmanuel Udezua told the governor to prevail on allstakeholders to end #PoliceBrutality, lamenting that Nigerian youths were in pains.

Udezua said: “on behalf of the youths of Delta we have come to express our anger and grievances at the incessant molestation of youths by the police nationwide.

“We want a better Delta and better a Nigeria where youths can go about their normal activities without the brutality of the police. Stop the exploitation and the oppression of youths. Use your power everywhere you can to end this for us.’’

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