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Zulum, minister, others urge dialogue, calm

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Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Uchechukwu Ogah, yesterday, called on Nigerian youths to engage in constructive dialogue with government instead of providing avenue for hoodlums to unleash mayhem on citizens in the name of protest.

Addressing a town hall meeting in Umuahia, Abia State, the minister lauded the maturity exhibited by the youths at the outset of the #EndSARS protests, noting that their voice resonated across the federation and even beyond the shores of Nigeria.

He said the youths had shown capacity to challenge the status quo and demand a better country not only for themselves, but also for generations yet unborn.

Ogah, however, regretted the infiltration of the campaign by thugs that eventually resulted in large-scale violence and destruction of private and public properties across the length and breadth of the country.

In his remarks, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu appealed to young people resist arson while ventilating.

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He regretted the looting of four banks, as well of burning of market, police station and others in the state.

State Chairman, National Youth Council of Nigeria, Smith Sylvanus, urged the state government to empower youths through skill acquisition programmes.

BESIDES, the Taraba chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has urged calm, saying wanton destruction of infrastructure does not solve problem but compound it.

State chairman of the party, Col. Agbu Dantala Kefas (rtd), recalled how he succeeded in engaging Niger Delta youths through dialogue that finally led to the birth of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP).

The former board chairman of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NMASA) said the youths could press home their demands in a peaceful manner.

MOREOVER, Governor Babagana Zulum has identified with peaceful means of channelling grievances, acknowledging that relative peace had returned to Borno State after almost three weeks of protests.

He spoke yesterday during the state’s Security Council meeting at Government House, Maiduguri.

ALSO yesterday, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), Leading Right Group (LRG) enjoined the protesters to halt their demonstrations in the interest of the country.

In a statement by its president and secretary, Pastor Michael Akadakhaene and Dr. Iyore Idemudia, the organisation said since the voice of the demonstration had been heard, it now behoves the authorities to “address the legitimate concerns raised by Nigerians.”

Mourning the dead Lagos protesters, LRG lamented that an otherwise peaceful exercise degenerated into a scuffle, resulting in colossal loss of lives and properties.

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