By Eric Ikhilae, Abuja
Governors have appealed to protesting youths to halt their demonstrations against police brutality and other unlawful acts by security agents.
They also urged them to dialogue with government to prevent likely hijack of the demonstrations by hoodlums.
The governors said the continuation of the protest “grossly exposes the fragile economic fundamentals of the country; particularly as criminal elements and hoodlums have hijacked the protests by maiming innocent citizens, looting and destroying properties.”
They spoke at the 20th emergence teleconference of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) held on Sunday where they also condemned last week’s attack on the Osun State Governor Adegboyega Oyetola in Osogbo, the state capital, by suspected hoodlums.
In a communique signed by the NGF’s Chairman, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, the governors who resolved to act on the prostesters’ demands, expressed concern about the seeming inconsistency in their demands.
They resolved to “endorse the call by demonstrators for improved governance predicated on an enforcement regime that takes into cognizance the fundamental human rights and liberties of all citizens in the country.”
Although the governors agreed to act on the demands by the EndSARS protesters, they raised “some concerns with the shifting nature of the demands which creates uncertainty on the exact expectations and ultimate goal.”
They advised the protesters to dialogue with governments at the national and state levels and prevent the likely hijack of the protests by hoodlums who are instigating a breakdown in law and order in many parts of the country.
The governors agreed to “activate a judicial panel of enquiry to receive all cases of police brutality by officers of the disbanded SARS unit,” adding that “each state is also expected to kick start a compensation mechanism for all victims.”