Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state has appealed to Nigerian youths not to embark on another round of #EndSARS protest as such actions will only worsen the economy and aggravate the poverty situation in the country.
Governor Bello said this in a statewide broadcast on Sunday, December 6, while reacting to reports that protesters are returning to the streets in some cities to demonstrate against police brutality.
The #EndSARS protests which started on October 8, took a sad turn when hoodlums hijacked it, carried out massive looting, destruction of private and public properties as well as killing of some persons including security agents.
Governor Bello said another round of demonstrations will not be only premature but also counterproductive. He appealed to Nigerian youths to consolidate on the gains of the protest by fully participating in various judicial panels of inquiry set up by the various state governments.
“In the face of all this and as the first sitting governor who publicly upheld the rights of our youths to protest against police brutality, I cannot in all good conscience agree that the time is ripe for another round of #EndSARS protests,” he said.
I deem another round of #EndSARS protests to be premature and counter-productive at this time. Apart from the higher likelihood of conflict with the police earlier canvassed, we must also admit that the security situation in the country is very precarious at the moment.
All patriots must therefore make conscious efforts not to degrade a parlous security situation further. Nationwide protests at this time will only overburden the load-bearing capabilities of our security architecture increasing the likelihood of total collapse. No matter the narrative, I doubt that out-of-control anarchy is an objective of the #EndSARS protests.
To worsen matters, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) predicted 3 days ago that the pandemic could push the number of people living in extreme poverty to over 1 billion by 2030. Thank God they are owning up to my earlier prediction, warning and caution.
Nigeria’s earning and foreign exchange situation is too fragile as we speak to resist sustained shocks.
Another nationwide protest will worsen the multidimensional poverty indices all over our country and work greater hardship on the ordinary Nigerians we claim to be advocating for.” he said