Governors, traditional rulers need special protection for the SW economy.
The threat posed by the recent destruction of key state assets to the Southwest’s economy has resulted in a peaceful dialogue in which political leaders, traditional rulers and thought leaders from across the region gathered to discuss next steps.
The Lagos State government launched a dialogue at the request of all six governors of the southwestern states to create a common front with traditional institutions in addressing issues leading to the recent national youth rally. that ended in violence that shook the region at its base.
President Muhammad Bukhari was represented at the event by his chief of staff prof. Ibrahim Gambari. In addition, all current members of the C region’s Federal Executive Council (FE) and Police Inspector General (PGI) Mohammad Adamu attended the event held at the banquet hall of the State Residence, Alausa.
The session provided an unhindered opportunity for traditional rulers to demonstrate their views on the marginalization of traditional institutions in government.
President of the Forum of Governors of the Region and Governor of Ondo Arakunrin State Rotimi Aqueredolu said the coordinated violence unleashed by the EndSARS protest rocked the Southwest prior to its founding, given the unbridled manner in which they destroyed the public assets and infrastructure that supported the region’s economy. from thugs.
He said the style of attacks, especially in Lagos, is troubling, indicating that peace in the region remains fragile after the violence.
Aqueredolu reaffirmed the need for a complete restoration of peace in the Southwest and for solving the problems that caused young people to take advantage of those who organized the destruction.
He said: “Before our very eyes, what began as a peaceful demonstration has turned into something else, which has become a threat to all of us considered the elite. What we saw during the violence showed that something needs to be done to address the underlying problems and find solutions. We must be able to maintain peace in our region at any cost. “
President Bukhari, who spoke through Professor Gambari, said EndSARS’s energetic manner of protest was indicative of the frustration of young people, who he said had long been ignored in government. He said the political class must go beyond words and equip young people with skills that will make them competitive in the marketplace.
The President reaffirmed his commitment to tackling the root causes of the protest, highlighting the reforms demanded by the youth and bringing cases of abuse to their logical conclusion.
Gambari said: “The efforts of our government are manifested at different levels. The Vice President and Governors are planning interaction through the National Economic Council, which will be implemented in all states of the Federation. Chief among them is police reform in all its aspects. Community police as an additional layer that can solve some of our security problems. “
Gov. Babajide Sanvo-Olu said the engagement could not have happened at a better time than the current period, when the region has just gone through troubling events.
He believed that the dialogue would usher in a new chapter of peace and prosperity in the Southwest.
Discussion took place in an executive session where all Southwest governors, traditional rulers and heads of security agencies discussed the next steps.
Uni from Ife, Oba Adeyaye Ogunwusi, welcomed the initiative, which he called “the right move,” but accused the political class of not consulting traditional institutions in the decision-making process.
Dialogue will bridge the communication gap between political leaders and traditional rulers, he said.
Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, attacked the practiced unitary system, claiming that the deal created insecurity and anxiety.
Alave of Ilave Ekiti, Oba Adebanji Alabi, said that security in the region needs to be strengthened to protect the economy of the southwest. He also called for the creation of a Southwest Development Agenda to repair and rebuild destroyed assets.
Both from Lagos pointed to politicians as the cause of the problems that led to the EndSARS protest, saying unemployment made the problem worse.
At the end of the meeting, participants issued a 13-point communiqué in which the governors and traditional rulers of the Southwest called for the restoration of the region’s shattered economic assets.
The statement, signed on behalf of the participants by Governor Aqueredolu and Ooni from Ife, says: “The country’s security architecture needs adjustments to adequately respond to the threats and realities of insecurity in the country. Communities in the southwestern states should have more police.
“Priority should be given to a comprehensive program on employment and youth empowerment. Better coordination and complementarity between states and the federal government. Higher education curricula should be revisited with an emphasis on skills acquisition and entrepreneurship.
“We are aware of the harmful and negative impact of fake and fake news and fear their destructive and dangerous power. We ask the federal government to use the tools of existing laws and regulations in other countries to protect against the spread of false news. Cyber Act 2015 must also be fully used. “
Leaders in the Southwest have called for a review of the records of past constitutional conferences, including the 2014 National Conference, and for implementation of some recommendations, especially regarding security, economy and equal treatment of citizens across the country.