Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development, Dr Uchechukwu Ogah has enjoined Nigerian youths to engage in constructive dialogue with the government in airing the grievances and not allow hoodlums take over the initiative as violence and carnage would only set the country back.
The minister stated this in a statement, yesterday, in the aftermath of the violence that followed the hijack of a peaceful EndSARS protest by hoodlums in some parts of the country.
Ogah, at a stakeholders Town-Hall meeting in Umuahia, Abia State, said the destroyed properties would still have to be repaired with tax payers money which could have been channelled to infrastructure development to enhance the quality of lives of citizens.
He praised the maturity exhibited by the youths when they began the protest, saying, “the voice of the #EndSARS protests, which resonated loudly across the states of the federation and even outside our shores, showed the capacity of Nigerian youths to challenge the status quo and their resolution to demand a better country not only for themselves, but for generations yet to come.”
He said the government was taking steps to address their grievances.
“Even when we choose to disagree with this administration in certain areas, the truth is that we cannot get that which we desire without engaging constructively with the government,” he said.
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu decried the magnitude of destruction in the state, including the looting of four banks, burning of onions market, police stations, among others.