Ekiti Governor Kayode Fayemi has described the nationwide protest against police brutality and extra-judicial killings as a cautionary tale for people in positions of responsibility.
Fayemi said the protest was a wake-up call against the manner political office holders handled governance, noting it was high time government acted more decisively on how to better the lives of the masses.
Speaking in a statewide broadcast on Friday, the Governor said the issues that triggered the EndSARS protests and its attendant violence were being addressed.
“I fully understand and endorse the far-reaching message that the EndSARS protest articulated. It is generally a protest not just against brutality by police officers but a wakeup call to all of us in positions of responsibility and the entire citizenry to have a new direction in the manner we handle the governance of the nation.
“It is a collective reminder to us that the urgency to act more decisively on how to improve the lot of our people is now. We must not let this seed to be emasculated in the crevice of violence that has attended the protest. This message has been well made. It is time for meaningful engagement,” he said.
Fayemi appealed to residents and the Southwest geo-political zone to allow peace to reign and refrain from wanton destruction of lives and properties.
He disclosed he met with President Muhammadu Buhari in his capacity as Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) on Monday, 19th October on the need for the nation’s leader to make a broadcast and careful handling of the protests, which degenerated into violence nationwide.
He thanked the leadership of the protest movement for calling off the protest, saying “the import of the protest has been largely achieved.
He urged traditional rulers, religious leaders, politicians and community leaders to use the weekend to further engage youths in their localities on the need to embrace peace.
He commiserated with those who suffered losses during the orgy of violence visited on the state by miscreants who hijacked the peaceful EndSARS protests praying God “to give his administration the strength to bring joy and succour where there is sadness, despair and despondency.”
He said: “While calm has been restored in most parts of the State, we have decided to watch development over the weekend before deciding on next steps.
“It is for this reason that I have extended the 24-hour curfew on the State until 0600hrs on Monday, 26th October 2020.
“This painful action was taken in the best interest of ourselves to ensure that the crisis does not escalate since criminals enjoy mimicking violent occurrences in other places. It is my hope that we will not have cause to extend the curfew any further.
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On the gains achieved by non-violent #EndSARS protest, the Governor said: “Now that the President has spoken acknowledging the demands and explaining what government is doing about them. I want to thank the leadership of the protest movement in Ekiti for calling off the protest. The import of the protest has been largely achieved.
“The Federal Government has banned the SARS department in response to the five demands made by the EndSARS movement and those held in SARS detention centres have been released.
“In Ekiti, as in many States of the Federation, a Judicial Panel of Enquiry to look into the cases of abuses, extra-judicial acts and general misconduct which led to the protest has been set up.
“A restitution fund to compensate for the losses of the victims of such abuses is also established while other demands like increase in salaries of police officers is being attended to.”