EndSARS: Ogun to empower 5000 youths - THE LIVING GUIDE

EndSARS: Ogun to empower 5000 youths

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By Lekan Lisoye

Ogun State governor, Prince  Dapo Abiodun on Monday said that the state government would this week launched youth empowerment programmes targeting 5,000 youths across the state. 

The governor also debunked the looting of palliatives meant for the people at any of the warehouses in the state, saying that the widespread rumour was a script designed by some group of people to rubbish his administration.

Gov Abiodun said this while addressing Journalists at his Oke Mosan office explained that the empowerment programme would provide skills and capacity building as well as stipends for the beneficiaries, adding that the participants would be attached to small,  medium scale enterprises and government agencies. 

He explained that the empowerment programme would take care of 250 youths each in the 20 local government areas of the state. 

The governor said the state  was determined to unleash the creative energies of the  vibrant, tireless and motivated youths towards building a more vibrant economy. 

“This is why we have come up with various economic programmes that they can tap into,” he said. 

Abiodun stated that the youths in the state had earned national accolades for the largely peaceful manner with which they conducted themselves while the EndSARS protest lasted.

“Let me also commend the original conveners of the EndSARS movement for listening to the voice of reason to suspend the protest. 

“The peaceful protest called our attention to genuine concerns about the mode of operation and activities of the now disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police. 

“But, it is obvious that this protest was hijacked by hoodlums and other elements who do not share the same ideals as the original conveners of the well intended protest.

” We must come together to ensure a peaceful environment for our wellbeing, wellness and welfare. I enjoin all of us to go about our legitimate businesses. The government will continue to monitor the situation. 

“But in the meantime, as our security agencies on joint patrol have been able to largely bring the situation under control, they will continue to patrol the major streets to ensure peace and tranquility in the day-to-day activities of citizens,” he said.

Speaking on the alleged looting of palliatives, Prince Dapo Abiodun described the alleged rumour of looting of CACOVID palliative in the state by people suspected to be hoodlums as a misrepresentation of fact and attempt aimed to discredit his government. 

Abiodun maintained that, there was no report of looting at any of the warehouses in the state, saying that the widespread rumour was a script designed by some group of people to rubbish his administration.

He said, there was no reason for the state government to stockpile the Covid-19 palliative having invested a whole sum of money to purchased them. 

He explained that, the distribution of the palliative was designed by private investors who donated the food commodities to the state government in such a way that all stakeholders including community leaders to supervise the distribution. 

He said, the state government received it's share of the palliative in September, and was immediately distributed across the 20 local government areas of the, saying the EndSARS protest prevented some local governments from distributing the food items to the vulnerable.

He said "I believe that some states have not even gotten all commodities that are due to them. We got ours sometimes in September or so. And they (CACOVID members) came subsequently to come and launch it. 

"Nothing can be farther from the truth. It was a narrative by a few individuals to deliberately malign government of different states. We invested a whole lot in palliative, the organized private sector decided to support government in palliative and they decided to launch those commodities in a warehouse and stakeholders were allowed to witness the distribution of the food items. 

"The ongoing rumour was a misrepresentation of the truth. Nothing would have warranted us (governors) from stockpiling the CACOVID. The CACOVID was designed in a manner to distribute by the private donors, but the EndSARS protest put it on hold. No warehouses was looted in Ogun state, saying that about18 or 19 out of the 20 LGs have received their palliative.

"On the Ifo looting, I have not been able to substantiate the Ifo looting, we will try and confirm that, if it happened, it will be an isolated case anyway,  because Ifo local government got their palliative two weeks ago."

The governor therefore, enjoined residents of the state to make use of the free toll line 112 to report any suspicious activities, molestation or harassment by the hoodlums. 

He said the state would not allow anyone to truncate the peaceful atmosphere in the state. 

"However, we also owe all the other people of Ogun State the duty to protect their lives and property. We have a responsibility to protect those who are not part of the protest, who wish to go about their legitimate means of livelihood". 

"In this regard, we took some measures to stem the then emerging violent dimension and I am glad that those measures have helped to restore normalcy. However, we are not lowering our guards as there are still reports of isolated disturbance. But our security agencies are on top of the situation. I can assure you that there is no cause for alarm".

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