Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has said that the #ENDSARS protests taking place across Nigerian cities is a wake up call to leaders of the country to rise and demonstrate sincerity in tackling the problems confronting the country.
Ortom who stated this at a press conference held at the Banquet Hall of Government House in Makurdi on Monday posited that the protesting youths are asking salient questions that deserve only honest answers backed by the commitment on the part of the leadership of this country.
“Over the years, we as leaders at all levels have failed to provide the standard of leadership that our country deserves, and until we admit this failure and take steps to effect positive changes, the agitations of the people will continue.
The Governor who acknowledged the peaceful nature of the protests all over the country commended the resilience of youths and other Nigerians on their dogged stand during the struggle.
“Their peaceful protests while holding the national flag clearly indicate that Nigerians genuinely want solutions to the myriad of problems confronting them and not to end the country.
He added that the spontaneous protests reflect the daily pains and frustrations of Nigerians in the face of unemployment, zero economic growth, insecurity and corruption, stating that the people justifiably want an end to impunity, police brutality, herdsmen attacks, banditry and other crimes bedeviling the country.
Ortom who told newsmen that as a democratically elected governor, he would not hesitate to join the protest if his people so wish however encouraged the protesters to remain peaceful and civil in their approach and resist the temptation to be violent, stressing that, “Violence does no one any good and it does not proffer solutions to problems.
“The ongoing protests have offered Nigeria the opportunity to correct decades of wrongs and failures in the system. Our country is practicing democracy which guarantees the freedom of speech to all citizens. The people have the constitutional right to voice out their frustrations and demand improved standard of living.
“The restructuring of the country and other views being expressed by the people are patriotic calls and should be treated as such. Nigerians want to see police reforms and other measures that can make their country greater.
“The people want respect for the rule of law in this country. The people want an end to the practice of sacred cows which makes some persons untouchable and superior to others.
“Finally, let me reiterate my I belief in the unity of this great country. Nigeria is the only country we have. Together, we can build a united and prosperous nation where justice and equity will reign,” Ortom concluded.