Ekiti State Governor Dr. Kayode Fayemi has revealed that he was a victim of police brutality, Vanguard reports.
The governor on Sunday described the EndSARS protest as a noble course and said it was supported in Ekiti not by those involved, but by the reason behind the action.
Fayemi, who revealed that she had been a victim of police brutality in the past, said she would join other Nigerians with good intentions in taking the youth EndSARS agitations seriously.
This was when the Minister of Commerce, Industry and Investment, Chief Adeniyi Adebayo, assured Nigerians that President Muhammadu Buhari would listen to and implement all the demands made by the youth during the EndSARS protest.
They spoke at Ado Ekiti on Sunday during a stakeholder engagement session on the recent #EndSARS protest that sparked panic across the country.
Governor Fayemi said that the police brutality case is an issue that affects all the facts of society, revealing that he was a victim in 2014 while seeking re-election.
Fayemi, who was defeated in the June 21, 2014 elections by his predecessor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, prior to the elections had allegedly been tear gassed by a team of police officers in the Mugbagba area of Ado Ekiti, while some APC governors were barred from entering the state to campaign for him having allegedly been detained by border security agencies.
Describing youth as the engine room of the nation’s economy, Governor Fayemi asserted that governments needed to partner with youth to achieve sustainable peace and development.
“The EndSARS protest was a noble course. He was supported here at Ekiti not by those involved, but by the reason behind the action that we believe would help the police put his house in order.
“The youth protest in Ekiti was well intentioned and peaceful. The right to peaceful protest is an inalienable right. For the first time, we have a panel of investigations at all levels of government to address our problems. We must not resort to violence as a solution to our agitations. We must all speak in unison against violence as we did in unison against police brutality.
“Our young people are angry, because when they left the closure of schools due to the Coronavirus pandemic, they went on strike by ASUU, then there is hunger in the land and the harsh economic situation in our country.
“The government has run many intervention programs and outlawed SARS and introduced youth investment funds and many others in response to youth upheavals.
“I pity the families of those who paid the ultimate price. We identify with them. The panels that we set up will look at the reasons behind the protest and how best to address the issues raised, because the EndSARS protest had placed a moral burden on all of us that we must be vigilant.
“I myself am a victim of police brutality. Everyone can remember what happened to me during my 2014 election. But some cops had also served me well, so not all are bad.
“Our police must be motivated to do well. Police officers must be well paid. There must be a good motivation so that the police can carry out their functions effectively ”.
In addition, he assured that President Buhari will implement all the issues raised by the youth, Adebayo said: “The purpose for which we are here today is that all the ministers who worked under the Buhari presidency obtained a presidential order to interact with the people. Mr. President listen to the people. I wanted to use this interaction to feel the pulse of all Nigerians.
“We thank Governor Fayemi for establishing a panel for us to investigate police brutality and other related issues. As your representative at FEC, I will continue to do my best to represent Ekiti well.
He advised young people to always apply for any youth-oriented program that the federal government is implementing and to stop having the wrong impression that they will not be listed as beneficiaries, apply first and see what happens. “
In his contributions, the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Zone 17, comprising Ondo and Ekiti, Mr. David Folawiyo, said that the EndSARS protest had actually exhumed fundamental issues indicative of the rots in the system.
“The supreme power belongs to the masses, especially the youth. The EndSARS agitations did not indicate that the police were bad, but they did say that the SARS operatives were bad. We agreed that there were rotten eggs in SARS, but in most cases people were the ones requesting SARS services.
“We know that we have to restructure the police and that will be done. But we should all work together to make the police effective. We should all be patriots and once we have this spirit, there will be no SARS again. The police must be well equipped and, ultimately, we must all work together to end SARS. “
Furthermore, the president of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Mr. Eyitayo Fabunmi, called for a total reform of the Police, so that it can be more professional and civilized in the performance of its functions.
“It is time that we concentrated more on training young people. Universities are producing jobless graduates annually and our leaders don’t worry, if they don’t worry, we worry as victims.
“Youth ministries at the federal and state levels need to be well funded in order to address youth-related issues. Governments can replicate the Youth Trust Fund to empower the youth population The National Youth Investment Fund should also be located in all councils for better accessibility. Politicians should also open their doors to young people and perceive us more as collaborators than ”.
Present on the occasion were the Deputy Governor of the State of Ekiti, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi, the Speaker of the House of the Assembly of the State of Ekiti, the Hon Funminiyi Afuye, the Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Ekiti, Bishop Felix Ajakaye, the Ekiti’s main imam and the president of the Alpha League, Alhaji Jamiu Kewulere, traditional rulers, youth groups, security organizations.