By Olasunkanmi Akoni and Nelson Alu
A human right group, Defend Lagos Coalition, has appealed to those youths and those planning to stage a protest to commemorate one year of #EndSARS protest, to desist from it, if the protest can not be done within the confines of the law.
Recall that Lagos Commissioner of Police, CP, Hakeem Odumosu, had earlier issued a statement, warning public to desist from joining a planned protest following uncovering of clandestine plans by some youths to embark on protest to commemorate the one year anniversary of #EndSARS protest in the state, particularly, the Lekki shootings, on October 20, 2020.
Odumusu, therefore, vowed that anyone caught in the act would face the full weight of the law.
Leader of the group, Nelson Ekujumi, made the appeal yesterday, during a media briefing, held at the International Press Centre, Ogba, Ikeja, Lagos.
Ekujumi, urged the organisers of the protest to ensure the planned protest would not lead to crisis, because the state cannot afford to suffer another great loss it suffered during the protest staged last year.
The group which went about with the banner: “EndSARS never again,” said a lot of things have been said about the last year protest of EndSARS, but there is no evidence to substantiate there was a massacre. “What happened on that day, a massacre never occurred, we are waiting for the panel set up to tell us what happened.
“Lagos is the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria, and nobody will allow anything that will destroy the State, we can’t tell them not to protest, you have right to protest, you must protest within your right and respect other people’s right.”
Ekujumi, said the protest staged last year left a sad note in the history of Lagos State and set the state backward economically and socially because, the protest was not well co-ordinated. “We are veteran when it comes to protest, they have the right to protest, but we will not subscribe to a protest that will lead to anarchy and killing of people. They must do it in a peaceful way, it should be a peaceful protest.”
The group however, appealed to those who want to protest to stage the anniversary of EndSARS to have a rethink, so as to forestall forces of evil hijacking the protest again to unleash mayhem.
LASG restates support for youths in agric
Meanwhile, the state Government has reaffirmed its commitment to support youth and student engagements in different agricultural value chains in order to encourage them to become more productive as adults in the agriculture labour force.
Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya, stated this, on Thursday, at the Schools’ Agric Quiz Competition for students of public senior secondary schools in Lagos as part of activities lined up to celebrate Y2021 World Food Day in the state.
Olusanya, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Hakeem Adeniji, explained that the youth support initiative will solve the problem of unemployment and vacuums being created by the ageing farmers, just as it would mitigate the possible effects of global food crisis.
She stressed that the vision of the ministry is to sustain food security, through youth and women empowerment, with significant private sector involvement.
According to her: “Some of such programmes include the Summer School Programme, the Schools’ Agricultural Programme (SAP), Eko Schools’ Agricultural Comic and the Women and Youths Programme under the Agro-Processing, Productivity, Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) Project.
“Others are the Lagos Agripreneurship Programme (L.A.P.), the Cage and Pen Culture Programme and the Young Africa Works (YAW) Nigeria Programme in collaboration with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)/ Africa Projects Development Centre.”