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Bello, Nwobodo, CAN, others urge dialogue, caution

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Eminent Nigerians, including, Senator Jim Nwobodo, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) President, Rev. (Dr.) Samson Ayokunle, Archbishop, Metropolitan See of Lagos, Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins and Bishop of Lagos West (Anglican Communion), Rev (Dr.) Humphrey Olumakaiye, have urged dialogue and caution in resolving the raging protests by the youths.

Governor Yahaya Bello, who was addressing Kabba protesters in Kogi State, pleaded for halt to the protestations. He urged them to embrace dialogue as a way out.

He was responding to the grievances reeled out by the team leader, Babatunde Nayo.

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Their demands were: “We want an end to bad governance in the state, because bad governance is worse than SARS. We want all the township roads in Kabba to be fixed, we seek the industrialisation of Okunland, we want the NTA Kabba to go live again, and we want the College Of Agriculture, Kabba to be converted to full-fledged federal university.”

They, however, gave a one-week ultimatum for the state and federal governments to show commitment.
Nwobodo, who spoke yesterday in Enugu, implored President Muhammadu Buhari to reassure the youths of a future in the country instead of deploying soldiers against them.

The appeal comes as the protesters, led by Dr. MacGinger Ibeneme, said they would observe a two-day candlelight procession beginning from today in honour of those killed in the ongoing protests.

The CAN president cautioned against altercations, as such could lead to what he described as “a harvest of deaths.”

In a statement yesterday in Abuja, he appealed to the Nigerian leader to immediately send an appropriation bill to the National Assembly for compensation of all victims of police brutality and extra-judicial killings in the last 10 years.

Ayokunle implored the Inspector General of Police to suspend implementation of the newly established SWAT team until sanity returns.

In his remarks, Martins, who sued for caution, described the launch of Exercise Crocodile Smile 6 as a most unusual and least expected step.

He gave the advice at the centenary celebration of Lagos Archdiocesan Confraternity of Christianity Mothers in Lagos.

Olumakaiye, on his part, also sought retooling of the youths for national development.

He offered the counsel during the dedication of St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Maza Maza in Lagos.

ALSO, the National Council of Women’s Societies (NCWS) canvassed negotiations as solution.

Its president, Dr. Gloria Laraba Shoda, who made the call yesterday in Abuja, said they could not fold their arms as mothers and watch young minds being slaughtered in their prime.

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