ENUGU, Nigeria – Various stakeholders in Enugu State, weekend, asked the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to address the concerns raised by the youths during the recent End SARS protest.
This was part of the resolutions reached during a stakeholders’ engagement convened by the Minister of foreign affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama.
OgeneAfrican learnt that as an aftermath of the nationwide End SARS protest, President Muhammadu Buhari had mandated all his aides to return to their States, interact with their people and chart a way forward.
The meeting in Enugu was attended by several stakeholders drawn from the religious, traditional, youths groups, security agencies, among others.
Chairman of the Enugu State Council of Traditional Rulers, His Royal Highness, Igwe Lawrence Agubuzu led the State monarchs to the meeting, which was also attended by the Enugu State Commissioner of Police.
While applauding President Buhari for directing his ministers to engage with the people, the participants at the meeting condemned the actions of the hoodlums who hijacked the peaceful End SARS protest
Other resolutions reached include: “That it has become more compelling to introduce reforms that would make the Nigeria Police Force more result oriented. Police officers need to be well remunerated.
“That state police should be created to enable state governors fully take charge of internal security of their areas.
“That the Federal Government should permanently withdraw all police orderlies attached to politicians and private individuals except those of the president and state governors.
“That the Federal Government should license and train private security guards to complement the role of the police as this is capable of creating about two million jobs in one year.
“That the Federal Government should review and harmonise the emoluments of members of the National Assembly in line with current economic realities.
“That government should as a matter of urgency disarm suspected herdsmen who move with AK-47.
“That government should discourage nomadic cattle rearing as the activities of herdsmen who have taken over most forests would be counterproductive to the various agricultural reforms as most farmers no longer go to farm.
“That government should institute a ‘Ranching Fund’ that will be accessible to intending cattle rearers.
“That the Federal Government should scrap the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) which has become a conduit for unimaginable corruption and in its place institute ‘students’ loan scheme’to assist indigent students and a ‘relief fund’ for unemployed graduates.
“That the Federal Government should strengthen and effectively support relevant government and traditional institutions to be able to communicate government programmes and policies to the people in the grassroots.
“That the concentration of power at the centre has rendered the well intended Social Investment Programmes of the Federal Government ineffective in most states, including Enugu.
“That the Federal Government should either fully restructure the country along regional lines.”
Responding, Onyeama, who said the reasons for the End SARS protest were genuine, promised to table the resolution before President Buhari.
He said the President was committed to police reform, as well as putting the country on the path of sustainable growth.
The minister, however, acknowledged that some of the issues that led to the protest had been persisting over the years.