Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
An emergency virtual meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC) on Monday set up a committee headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to interface with youths in the country on employment, social safety net and national security.
The committee is to also engage the representatives of civil society organisations, religious and traditional leaders for the same reasons.
This is coming on the heels of the nationwide #EndSARS youth protests demanding an end to police abuses and the disbanding of the controversial Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police Force.
Hoodlums have since been hijacked the protests, resulting in the mass looting of warehouses and destruction of properties.
A Governor from each of the six geopolitical regions of the country is to serve on the committee.
Governors in the committee representing their zones are those of Sokoto State, Borno State, Niger State, Ondo State, Ebonyi State and Delta State.
Related: #EndSARS: Speaker, south-west governors, ministers identify with Tinubu, Sanwo-Olu, condemn attack on Lagos’ properties
A statement released by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, on the resolution of the meeting which was presided over by Prof Osinbajo, reads:
‘After more than four hours of deliberations at an emergency meeting of the National Economic Council today, a resolution has been reached by the Council that the deeper issues behind the ENDSARS protests and its fallouts should be addressed by both the Federal and State Governments.
‘To this end, a Council committee to engage the youths, representatives of Civil Society Organizations, religious and traditional leaders on employment, social safety net programmes and national unity among other key issues of concern has been constituted. Members of the Committee are governors representing the six geopolitical zones.
‘The Committee would be chaired by the Vice President who presided over the meeting attended by the Governors, FCT Minister, Central Bank Governor, Inspector General of Police, representatives from the Military, the Directorate of State Security, and the National Human Rights Commission.’
The statement informed that the Committee, which is to commence work immediately, will develop a comprehensive framework under the auspices of the Council that would coordinate joint actions and steps to be taken by both the Federal and State Governments to examine the fundamental issues underlining the protests and arrive at effective solutions, including how to enhance Nigeria’s national security.
It said while supporting President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to a complete overhaul of the nation’s security services, NEC also commended the Nigerian Police and Security agencies for their handling of the disturbances in some States of the Federation while also noting its unequivocal belief that most members of the Nigerian security personnel are law-abiding and are capable of restoring law and order in the country.