The Political Leaders here present,
The Spiritual fathers, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen;
I begin by thanking the Almighty God for sparing my live to witness yet another occasion of my birthday. I thank everyone who in all your busy schedule set today aside to celebrate with me and my family, May God continue to give us the cause for more celebrations.
Let me also use this brief opening remarks to thank most sincerely, the Executive Governor of Delta State, His Excellency Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa for the swift response towards the agitation of Nigerian youths and more particularly the Deltan youths.
EMPATHY FOR THE LOSS SOUL:
Today being a remarkable day of every year in my life to the glory of God, I want to express my sympathy and condolence with the families of those who loss their lives in the cause of the peaceful protest demanding for an end to police brutality, good governance and accountability amongst others under the slogan of ENDSARS more particularly the Lekki toll gate acclaimed massacre of peaceful protesters . I want to with utmost respect state that they are the heroes who died in the fighting for a just cause. Indeed October 20th 2020 is an unforgettable memories in the history of Nigerian Youths. While sympathizing with the families of the loss souls, permit me to also sympathize and condoled with the families of Police officers who loss their lives as well and I pray God grants them the fortitude to bear the irreplaceable lost. Following the demands and agitation of the Nigerian youths, I stand with the youths of their demands and I must commend them for this wake up call for good governance and accountability amongst others from our leaders not forgetting the origin of the police brutality on a youth in Ughelli Delta State which eventually results to the massive protests nationwide. This protest symbolized that Nigerian youths are in one accord despite our tribal differences. The responsibility to provide good governance and accountability amongst others is solely on the government irrespective of our political affiliation i.e whether in PDP or APC, religion, tribal or ethnicity. There is a solemn duty to mentor, groom and develop Nigerian youths who are the leaders of tomorrow. We must recognize that the prosperity of this country depends, amongst everything else, first and foremost, on our ability to provide an enabling environment for every citizens of this country.
CLARION CALL ON OUR LEADERS:
In the same vein, I want to use this medium to call on leaders that are in the helm of affairs that this is a wake call for either elective or appointees to create an enabling environment for our youths, create a platform for accountability, good governance, and to ensure that basic amenities and infrastructural development are made available for every citizen irrespective of their religion, ethnic or tribe. And particularly, to include our intelligent and hardworking Nigerian youths in helm of affairs and in decision making bodies.
As a patriotic Nigerian , who believe on the ability and capability of the youths, it is my candid opinion following the recent happenings, signify that every leader have to do more to ensure that every citizen benefits in all ramification of governance and development.
STATE OF THE NATION
We have in passed weeks witnessed tension in many parts of the country in the wake of the youths’ demand for end to police brutality and reformation of the Police Force amongst others under the slogan of ENDSARS. I wishes to reaffirm my commitment to the national unity and integrity of the Nigerian State. I believe, as many of us here do, that a better Nigeria is possible. I recognize however, that the task of building a strong, viable and effective federal system, which is the most suitable for our size and diversity, is a continuous process and involves continue negotiations and adjustments. I accordingly urge all the Nigerian youths to dissatisfy with the present system or federal structure to continue to advocate or agitate for police reforms or improvements in a peaceful and non-violent manner. I am committed to facilitating and supporting genuine peaceful initiative and genuine reforms in our governance/federating structure.
No group or youths, no matter their grievances should be allowed to take the law into their hands or operate in a manner that undermines the lives of other Nigerians. I, therefore, condemn in very strong terms activities of some miscreants who have gone beyond peaceful agitations by destroying properties worth billions of Naira. I also reiterate the rights of every Nigerian to live peacefully in any part of the country without molestation. I condemn in very strong terms all groups that seek to achieve their objectives through violence, dissemination of hate speech or instigating one group of youth against the other. Nigeria cannot afford another round of violence or killings. Whilst the law guarantees the right to peaceful protests, the law does not permit brigandage and hostility against fellow citizens or taking-up arms against the State as we have seen in some cases.
Similarly, I recognizes the duty of the Government and its agencies including the Nigerian Military to contain both external and internal threats, but I strongly appeal against the use of excessive force on peaceful protesters.
I urge every Nigerian youths to eschew violence and desist from destroying properties as this will worsen the situation of the present state of the country.
Let me conclude these remarks by stating that the changing of the name SARS to SWAT is not enough to reform the Nigeria Police Force and therefore suggest that special training for an officers fighting crime and as well as create a good and essential welfare package for the officers as this will go a long way to curb the brutality of the police officers and I also call on the Federal Government to set up an independent investigative panel to investigate and probe the killings of the innocent, armless and peaceful protesters in the Lekki toll gate and as well bring the culprits to face full wrath of the law and the loss souls be giving a befitting burial with adequate compensation to the families of the victims.
Once more thanks to everyone for your present on this occasion.
Dated this 25th Day of October, 2020
Long Live Warri South West Local Government,
Long Live Delta State,
Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria