Emmanuel Adeyemi, Lokoja
Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State on Tuesday in Lokoja appealed to Nigerian youths to put an end to the anti-SARS protests occuring in major cities across the country, saying the protests are gradually degenerating into chaos.
Governor Bello, addressing newsmen, said although he was in support of scrapping the federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police, having issued a statement supporting the protests last week, he said Monday’s protests in particular were no longer peaceful.
The SARS has come under sustained attack for alleged abuses and misconduct against innocent Nigerians, ranging from extortion to illegal detention to extrajudicial killings.
Governor Bello said the anti-SARS protests have been infiltrated by hoodlums who are destroying government property and police facilities in a bloody unrest.
The Kogi Governor said that, as the youngest Governor in Nigeria, he has taken it as a point of duty to intervene in issues that affects young people, and is pleading with them to immediately stop the protests given the violent turn it has taken.
He said Monday’s escalation was needless and capable of causing more crises in the country.
The Governor urged young people to trust the words of President Muhammadu Buhari, having acceded to their demands by ordering the disbandment of the police unit, assuring the protesters that the President will carry out comprehensive police reform.
‘I respect the President words and his promises to give total reform not only to the police but to other security architecture in the country,’ Governor Bello stated. ‘The President can not lie, he loves the youths so much; therefore, I appeal to all Nigerian youths to exercise patience with him to do what he promised.’