By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has called for a collective effort towards ensuring security, peace and harmonious co-existence in the state and country at large.
Engineer Sule made the call while declaring open a one-day stakeholders dialogue on the demands presented by the ENDSARS protesters, at the Government House, on Friday.
The Governor said this is even more imperative at a time when President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to recording unprecedented progress and development in the country, across all facets of human endeavours.
While lamenting that the country is presently faced with security challenges occasioned by the activities of the ENDSARS protesters against activities of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Engineer Sule urged the people to come together in unison to fight crimes and criminality in the society.
“The activities of the ENDSARS protest have continued to pose security threats with attendant consequences on human lives and property, as well as the socio-economic development of both state and country,” the Governor stated.
He said the dialogue was convened to appraise the inherent security challenge, with a view to finding lasting and sustainable peace, as well as fashion out modalities towards addressing the 5-points demand raised by the ENDSARS protesters.
Engineer Sule pointed out that, in the effort to address the demands of the protesters, government had in compliance with presidential directive, constituted a judicial commission of enquiry to look into the demands of the protesters.
Engineer Sule said his administration has made deliberate efforts towards the empowerment of youths and women, in line with government policies and programmes geared towards wealth creation, employment generation and poverty alleviation.
He listed the completed Lafia Technical Institute, which will impart necessarily vocational skills to youths and women, including those with no formal education, as well as the attraction of investors like Dangote Group, Azman Rice Ltd, Flour Mills Nigeria, Olam Farms, among others, which all serve as employment hub.
“Government is, however, determined to provide all the necessary support to make our youth productive and fully prepared to take over the governance of this great nation,” he said.
The Governor called on stakeholders at the meeting to be objective in their contribution towards collective determination to not only address the 5-demands of the ENDSARS protesters but to also create the needed environment for socio-economic development of Nasarawa State and Nigeria at large.
At the end of the dialogue, stakeholders issued a communique appreciating various initiatives put in place by the Federal Government namely, N-Power, N-Tech, N-Agro, increase in monthly NYSC allowances, special public works scheme, among others, all targeted at the economic empowerment of youths, women and most vulnerable in the society.
While also thanking the President for protecting the democratic rights of the ENDSARS protesters, as well as his steadfastness in handling the issue after the protest degenerated into violence, mayhem and destruction of lives and property.
The stakeholders equally commended the Nasarawa State Government for its monumental steps towards employment, wealth generation and poverty eradication, especially among youths and women.
The communique said stakeholders in Nasarawa State resolved to continue to support the Inspector General of Police, Muhammad Adamu, in his genuine commitment to reform the Nigeria Police Force.
The dialogue was attended by Deputy Governor of Nasarawa State, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe, Senators representing the state at the National Assembly, House of Representatives members from the state, Minister of State, Ministry of Science and Technology, Speaker, Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Chief Judge of Nasarawa State, chief executives and chairmen of boards and parastatals, members of the state executive council, Secretary to the Government of Nasarawa State, traditional rulers.
Others are, former secretaries to the Government of Nasarawa State, former deputy governors, religious leaders, youth organizations, civil society groups, tribal youth leaders, security agencies, among other critical stakeholders.