Paul Osuyi, Asaba
The Ohworode (traditional ruler) of Olomu Kingdom in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State, His Royal Majesty, (Dr) Richard Ogbon Oghoro Ogoni I JP has lamented the unfortunate deaths of some youths during the anti-SARS protests which later turned violent across the country.
The centenarian monarch also decried the wanton destruction of property, looting that followed the hitherto peaceful protest by aggrieved youths, saying that it was his first time of witnessing such level of destruction in the country.
“Really, myself as a man of colonial era, what is happening in Nigeria today, am very sad. That the youths are demonstrating, destroying property and some of them are being killed innocently that is very bad.
“At my age of 104 years, this is the first time I witnessed such destructive demonstration nation wide.
“Why are the youths demonstrating? We could say first and foremost many of the youths who have graduated from universities are roaming the street. There is no job for them to do. That’s one of the reasons these youths are not happy.
“Now, if you look around this democratic system of government, very few people are benefiting fabulously, swimming in wealth while poverty reigns supreme among the populace. People are crying of hunger. People are dying of sicknesses and diseases. These things annoy people too.
“Then, the oppression and the unjustifiable killing by the police is another thing that caused the demonstration which everybody condemned, and I condemn it outright.
“Life is very important. In those days when we were young, in school, we were taught that the police are your friend but what we are seeing today is contrary to the things we were taught. Police just take gun and kill somebody like an animal, that is very bad,” he said.
The Ohworode however appealed to the youths to be calm, saying that government had started to look into some of their demands which he said were legitimate, saying that it was high time the demonstration was stopped to give room for a round table discussion to correct the wrong and make the youths happy.
He expressed joy that government, in quick response had listened to the much-pained issue, by disbanding SARS but cautioned the Inspector-General of Police (IG) to exercise patience in the SWAT replacement, saying it was too early.
“The police should seat down and reason widely and see the wrong in the one that is being cancelled before creating a new one that will benefit all the people. I feel it is too early to create a new one,” he stated.
Suggesting solution to the problem facing the nation, the monarch said a return to the regional form of government would help the nation evolve and develop than it was now.
“When we first got independence, we had four regions which were the western, northern, eastern and the Midwestern regions. These regions were free to work for the development of their different region.
“Today, what we have is democracy which they say is government of the people by the people but in actual sense it’s not government of the people for the people. This central government where everything is shared from Abuja has not helped us,” he stated.