Mrs Atinuke Owolabi, an All Progressives Congress (APC) Youths Matron has appealed to youths in Lagos State and the nation to embrace peace and dialogue in their agitation and quests for a better Nigeria.
Owolabi, APC Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government Area Youths’ Matron, in a statement on Saturday expressed dissatisfaction on how a peaceful legitimate protest was hijacked to cause mayhem and destruction.
“We can only win this battle, if you, the youths come together and embrace dialogue to continue pressing for our demands for a better Nigeria.’’
Owolabi, who is a Corporate Member of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), also appealed to all tiers of governments to prioritise the welfare and security of citizens as well as youth empowerment.
“The youths are angry and hungry and frustrated but they are not ‘thugs’. There is a need for government to tap into this frustration and turn it into production.
“There is a need to rehabilitate, reform and empower the youths. This is an opportunity for government to bridge the gap of distrust between it and the citizenry,” she said.
Owolabi identified with the youths in their demands to #EndPoliceBrutality #EndSARS but lamented the horror that crept into the protest with the shooting at peaceful protesters in Lekki.
“Engineer Atinuke Owolabi sends her condolences to the fallen heroes and heroines of the Lekki tollgate shootings and other places in Lagos.
“I sympathise with residents along the Fagba corridor in Ifako-Ijaiye, other parts of Lagos state and the federation who lost their lives and properties.
“I pray for the repose of the souls of the dead and extend condolence to their families.”
She condemned the needless damage to critical infrastructures and investments.
“In this vein, I urge every youth of goodwill to stay off the protests, stay off the streets and engage government at all levels from the local to the federal and channel your demands in a more civil manner.”
“The voices of our youths have been heard from London to Los Angeles, from Malaysia to Malawi, from Brazil to New Zealand, all around the globe.”
“The #EndSARS was the most trended for days on twitter and Instagram (IG).
“We have shown our strengths and government now knows that.
“All we demanded for is a better Nigeria where government works for all, police is held accountable, the rule of law prevails and basic amenities are provided for the people.
“But now is the time to #CalmDown, retreat from the streets protests totally and #SaveLagos from the hands of those that seek its total destruction,” she appealed.