Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday said Nigerian youths have many reasons to demand for better life and future.
The governor who spoke at the Lagos youth symposium organised by the Ministry of Youth and Social Development with the theme, “Rebuilding For Greatness, Peaceful Conflict Resolution” noted that the symposium was organized to engage over 1500 youths drawn from various voluntary organizations, uniformed organizations, non-governmental organizations, National Youth Council of Nigeria, Lagos State Chapter, among others
According to him, the primary objective is to use the platform to network and learn new ways of contributing their quota to rebuilding Lagos and achieving the greater Lagos dream.
The governor who reminisced that about this time last year the state and indeed the whole country witnessed a mass protests against police brutality tagged #EndSars, pointed out that the movement saw a majority of Nigeria’s youth population participating in one of the largest movements since the country’s democratic transition in 1993.
He said: ’The protest culminated into wanton destruction of government facilities and individual properties across the nation after the riot on October 20th forever known as the Black Tuesday.
“This incident sparked global outrage and hoodlums took advantage of the situation and went on rampage looting and burning down destroying government properties and facilities.
“In what seems like a calculated attack, the hoodlums ravaged the city of Lagos leaving many parts of the state with burnt buildings, looted shops and destroyed properties worth billions of Naira.
“The economy of the country that was already in decline due to some many factors suffered a huge setback
‘’Nigerian youth have many reasons to demand for a better life and future especially in a country where their ability to live and prosper is challenged by existing socioeconomic and political conditions amongst other factors.
“The proportion of people living in poverty continues to grow especially as COVD 19 rampage continues.”
Sanwo-Olu explained that despite the massive destruction of properties as a result of the protests and economic downturn occasioned by the COVD 19 pandemics, the state was able to cope with the challenges.
He said his government has also implemented mind set changing and reorientation programmes to build the capacity of young people in the state to think positively and take up their role in the state.
The governor noted that his government has operated an open door policy and maintained a robust engagement serviced by effective feedback mechanism to ensure that the resident’s yearnings and aspirations are met
Also speaking, the deputy vice chancellor of the Lagos State University (LASU) Professor Wahab Elias who was the guest speaker noted that conflicts are inevitable in any society, saying it is how the conflict is managed that matters.
Elias urged the youths to always negotiate their demands with the authority, noting that engaging in conflicts that are not progressive could destroy any society.