By James Ogunnaike
Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun said that the state government would launch youths empowerment programmes targeting about 5,000 youths across the state.
Gov Abiodun said this while addressing newsmen in Abeokuta, 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.
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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