As youths across the country commemorate the one-year anniversary of the #EndSARS protest on Wednesday, stakeholders in Osun State have proffered workable solutions that could put a permanent end to issues raised by the agitating youths.
They stated this at a Stakeholders’ Summit in Osogbo organised by the Osun Civil Society Movement to mark the one-year anniversary of the #EndSARS protest, an event used to further press home their demands that were yet to be met.
The Stakeholders’ Summit was attended by representatives of youth led groups, security operatives, media practitioners and government officials, and they harped on the need for immediate fixing of perceived failed institutions in the country.
The keynote speaker at the occasion, Dr. Omotosho Oluyemi, hailed the concourse and courageous citizens for congregating to mark the one year anniversary of the EndSARS protest in a peaceful and orderly manner.
Oluyemi who is an educationist and public affairs analyst lamented that the issues that led to the protest were yet to be resolved and abated.
He identified the five issues which include, immediate release of all arrested protesters; justice for all deceased victims of police brutality and appropriate compensation for their families; setting up an independent body to oversee the investigation and prosecution of all reports of police misconduct (within 10days); In line with police act among others.
Dr. Oluyemi described the metamorphosis of SARS to SWAT as putting old wine in new bottle, adding that the change was yet to yield any efficient and effective response.
He said: “Nigeria as a country should learn her lessons from internal and external developments. A popular saying goes thus, that ‘no nation survives two civil wars.’ The organisation, commitment, determination, financial muscle and implementation of the spontaneous 2020 #ENDSARS protest shows that a country like Nigeria may not survive another one.
“Government must therefore put everything in place to ensure good governance, reduce unemployment, poverty and inequality. The prevalent unbearable level of insecurity must be checked.
“The attitude of our political leaders in the way they display illegal acquisition of wealth should change. They must work for the good of the majority by developing this country’s infrastructure. The rule of law and maintenance of financial human rights must be transparently practiced.
“Finally, Nigeria rich resources should be harnessed for the good of all through restructuring to make the state and the local government positively resourceful, responsible and responsive.
“The youth must be empowered through good governance. The NGOs, Civil Society Organisations, Community Based Organisations (CBOs), Faith Based Organisations (FBOs) etc must constantly sanitise the people about the governance system and performance to demand for their rights.”
On its part, the Osun State government reiterated its commitment to implementing the recommendations of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry against Police Brutality, Extrajudicial Killings and Human Rights Violation in the state that was set up last year.
The government particularly assured that compensation would be paid to victims of police brutality in the state, in line with the panel’s recommendations.
In his remarks, government representative and spokesperson to Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, Ismail Omipidan, who was one of the panelists, disclosed that the implementation of recommendations of the judicial panel would be speedily effected as soon as it returns from the initiator, the Federal Government.
He said the state government had concluded all that was necessary in respect of the panel’s recommendations but awaiting the feedback from the Federal Government that initiated the action.
While fielding questions during a panel discussion at the event, Omipidan bemoaned the spate of misinformation about the incident at Olaiya junction on October 17, 2020, adding that video evidences are available for verification.
Also speaking at the event, the Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the state, Wasiu Ajadosu, called for immediate fixing of the nation’s collapsed system.
Ajadosu who bemoaned the pressure that led to the massive agitations that eventually resulted to organic protest across the nation, said it is incumbent on the citizens to take their destiny in their hands.
Also, a human rights activist, Waheed Saka, called for immediate response to the demands of the youths saying the victims of brutality must be adequately compensated.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Organising Committee, Ayodeji Ologun, in his welcome remark, said the event brought stakeholders in security, policy making, government and human rights together to discuss the losses and gains of the nationwide protest held last year.