By Peter Duru, Makurdi
Thousands of youths and EndSARS protesters for the second day grounded activities in Makurdi the Benue state capital.
The youths who Monday marched through major streets in the town disrupted vehicular and pedestrian movements in the town.
The protesters who sang songs of solidarity bearing posters, placards and banners with inscriptions like “give us back our country”, “restructure Nigeria”, reform the the Police”, lazy youths are tired, “End herdsmen killings”, end hardship and unemployment” among others took over the Benue State Government House roundabout where they demanded for Governor Samuel Ortom to address them.
Governor Ortom who later addressed the youths expressed his solidarity with them saying that he was impressed with the manner they conducted themselves.
He said “you demanded to End SARS, end corruption, end unemployment and hardship and others. We have been taking note of it and I want to say that you have done well by conducting yourselves in an orderly manner and for coming out for the protest.
“Globally in a democratic government, freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of association is allowed. And you must know that there is no crime in what you have done.
“It is your right to make sure that everything is moving in the right direction because if we the leaders don’t get it right it is you the youths that will suffer more.
“So I want to assure you that you have done the right thing and I the Governor of Benue state support you in the protest and to say that for me I have also stood for the truth and I have never withheld my voice when it comes to issues of bad governance, insecurity and unemployment and others.
“I have always supported what you are agitating for today and I want to assure you that by the grace of God, from all of us in this country there must be a shift from what we are doing.
“We as leaders have truly failed the people of this country and we must devise better ways of correcting the anomaly. This protest in Benue state and Nigeria provides us with the opportunity to turn things around and ensure that we have a better future for our children.
“As Governors we met yesterday and recommended to the President to begin to do the things that will convince our children to go back to their homes.
Truly Nigeria needs restructuring because we may not survive where we are heading. The insecurity is too much, the economic hardship is too much, everything is up side down and we must by all means turn things around. I stand with you and I support you.”