3 months ago | 136
...urges Nigerian government to release youths arrested during #EndSARS protest
KINGSLEY Moghalu, Oxford Martin Visiting Fellow, University of Oxford, United Kingdom, has called on the Nigerian government to release youths kept in detention one year after they were arrested during the #EndSARS protest in October 2020.
According to Moghalu, "hundreds of the youth who participated in the peaceful protest are still being held in detention. This is a violation of the country’s constitutional democracy. I, therefore, call on the authorities to release the youth activists without further delay."
He made this known in a statement he made available to Realnews October 20, in which he unveiled his agenda for the youth, if elected as President in 2023. The statement is entitled: "The Future of Nigeria’s Youth: The Promise of a Kingsley Moghalu Presidency".
The full statement by Moghalu, former presidential aspirant of the African Democratic Congress, ADC, reads: " A year ago, Nigerian youth organised themselves in the peaceful #EndSARS protests to demand freedom from police brutality. Quite sadly, the bravery of the young compatriots was met with even more brutality. Like millions of fellow citizens, and indeed the youth, today, I especially remember those who paid the ultimate price for freedom during the protest. Their sacrifice will not be forgotten or in vain.
"Nigeria’s young men and women face many fundamental challenges. The strength of their numbers (nearly 70% of our population) is supposed to be the country’s most productive asset. But the failure of governance has turned this into a threat, and the EndSARS movement has witnessed efforts to silence the voices of our young people, physically and on social media including the “Twitter ban”.
"What Nigeria’s youth stands to inherit from incompetent government is a bloated public debt of over N35 trillion and still rising. The national youth unemployment rate is above 40 percent. Nigeria’s young people are leaving the country in droves (the “japa” phenomenon) in search of greener pastures, including in smaller African countries, which sometimes involves very dangerous trips. I note in particular the difficult conditions facing young people in Northern Nigeria, where economic opportunities are even more stifled, millions of children of school age are out of school (a potential breeding ground for recruitment to terrorism) and a drug pandemic poses a serious social threat. And, despite their dominant number, the youth are grossly under-represented in government.
"In solidarity with their struggles, today I unveil my agenda for the youth. If elected as President in 2023, I plan to execute the following plan specifically for the benefit of the youth:
Police reform. My administration will undertake a comprehensive and constitutional police reform that will properly establish state police, train the police to respect and protect human rights, ensure internal accountability against excessive use of force and extra-judicial killing, institute specialisation within the police force which is absent today, increase the number strength of the officers, and provide significant improvement in the remuneration and welfare package of the service men and women.
One year after the EndSARS protest, hundreds of the youth who participated in the peaceful protest are still being held in detention. This is a violation of the country’s constitutional democracy. I, therefore, call on the authorities to release the youth activists without further delay.
A systemic resolution of EndSARS will be achieved only through the election of a competent leader that sincerely has the interests of the youth at heart. Therefore, like the youth of Zambia successfully did with their “take it to the polls” campaign, Nigerian youth should get their PVCs and deliver 50 million votes in 2023 for a different kind of leadership in Nigerian than one that is oppressive towards them and lacks any vision for how the youth can take charge now, of a future that rightfully belongs to them.
- Oct. 21. 2021 @ 3:35 GMT |
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