…VP, Govs to interact on zonal, state basis

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru

THE  Ad- Hoc Committee set up by the National Economic Council, NEC, to engage with youths and civil society organizations in the wake of the #EndSARS protests has said it would engage with security agencies and develop ways of delivering more control to state governors who are the chief security officers of their states.

The decision was taken at a virtual meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday.

The committee, according to a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, decided to promptly embark on a two-pronged engagement process: Zonal and State-based respectively.

The statement explained that for the State-based engagements, each of the 36 State Governors and FCT Minister would meet with the leadership and representatives of the identified groups in their states.

It would then be immediately followed by zonal interactions where the Vice President and members of the Committee would feature.

It said: “The engagements will not only include youth groups but also traditional, religious and political leaders. Civil society groups would also be involved as well as opinion moulders like the media. “The interactions would feature issues around employment, social safety nets and national unity and security of lives and properties among others.”

The meeting attended by the Governors representing each of the six geopolitical zones in the country also formally adopted six Terms of Reference:

The Terms of Reference are,”To engage representatives of Youths, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and others, Political, Religious and Traditional leaders on employment and social safety net programmes among other issues.

“To engage with the Security Agencies and develop ways of delivering more control to State Governors who are the Chief Security Officers of their States;

“ To recommend effective solutions to the rising divisiveness and propose ways of strengthening national unity;

“To develop a framework for the coordination of action steps to be taken by both the Federal and State Governments in response to the fundamental issues underlying the EndSARs Protests;

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“To co-opt and or invite any individual or Corporate body that may facilitate the work of the Committee; and

“ Report to Council with such recommendations as may be considered appropriate.”

It would be recalled that last Thursday after more than four hours of deliberations at an emergency meeting of NEC, it was resolved that the deeper reasons behind the ENDSARS protests and its fallout should be addressed by both the Federal and State Governments.

Members of the NEC Ad-HOC Committee on Public Engagements at the meeting are: Prof Yemi Osinbajo, who is the Chairman,

Governors Aminu Tambuwal, (Sokoto State), representing Northwest, Babagana Zulum, (Borno State), representing Northeast and Sani Bello (Niger State), representing North Central.

Others are Rotimi Akeredolu, (Ondo State), representing Southwest, Dave Umahi (Ebonyi State), representing Southeast and Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta State), representing Southsouth.



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