Fellow Youths of Ogun State

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The recent special Presidential Directive ordering immediate dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police, on the strenght of our protest, confirms the dictum that the Government exists for the people.

The events of the past fews days have shown that truly, there is no power like that of the youth and this is why the current Government of Ogun State is ensuring that its policies are centred on youth development and creating a proud and sustainable future. It is of no doubt that many Nigerian Youths have been victims of police brutality especially from the dreaded *SARS* . The spate of violence confirms that if there was anything that needed to change in Nigeria, it was police brutality.

However thick the cloud of despondency may be, we must also ensure that we do not demoralise our highly professional men in the Force. We must appreciate the fact that a large percentage of those great minds who leave their families to protect us all are youths. We must understand that these young men and women risk their lives every day to protect us and make our society a safe and better place. It is important that we appreciate the fact that many of them leave their homes every morning, put on their badges and not sure if they will be back at night to take off their clothes. Their job is one of the toughest in our country as they are most likely to get injured and killed than any of us. They make huge sacrifices to keep us all safe.

Nevertheless, the Nigerian Police Force is largely made up of young people and they need to understand that when the police which is saddled with the responsibility of protecting the lives and property of citizens becomes their source of fear and terror, then such an organisation has outlived its usefulness. They should remember that the power of our youths is unquantifiable and their assertiveness can oppose any form of oppression. Never in history has anyone been able to eternally silence the youths and I sincerely commend our youths for making a strong statement through a peaceful protest.

It should be noted that the directives of the President and the dissolution of the unit by the Inspector General of Police affirm that we have a responsive Government. I therefore humbly appeal to our youths in Ogun State to ensure that they do not participate in any form of violent protest in any part of the state. This will jeopardise the efforts of our darling Governor, Prince Dr. Dapo Abiodun, MFR and his vision for the state. We must understand that COVID-19 is still very much around and we must observe social distancing so as to ensure our safety and that of our loved ones. We must also ensure that policing is a public job since the police are the public and the public are the police. Those in uniforms are only ordinary members of the society paid to give all their attention to community welfare which is the responsibilities of all of us.

The courage of the youth to stand up against brutality is well appreciated and applauded. I will like to reiterate the words of Churchill that as it takes courage to stand up and speak; it also takes courage to sit down and listen. Therefore let us listen and support the government as this is also a form of courage *. It is better to jaw-jaw than to war-war. Dialogue remains the surest means of conflict resolution* .I want to appeal to all our youth to suspend any demonstration that will lead to breaking of law and order in the state. Our message is clear and loud enough and we have also been heard outside the shores of our dear country.

Conclusively, the State Government and other law enforcement agencies are working together to carry out the president’s directive on the police unit. I hereby appeal that we should go about our lawful businesses and give the law enforcement agencies ample time to implement the IGP’s directives. May God reward the labour of our young people and may every drop of our sweat yield good fruits. *Now that our agitations that have been readily stamped, let us discontinue further demonstrations and explore all avenues of peaceful dailogue.*

Together a new Nigeria is possible.

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