Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, has inaugurated a N500 million compensation fund for victims of injustice during the #EndSARS protests in the state.
Makinde made this known in Ibadan on Monday during a post-protest meeting held with traditional rulers and other stakeholders in the state.
The governor urged those who had suffered any form of injustice in the past or as a result of the #EndSARS protests, to take advantage of the platforms provided to log in their cases.
He noted that a Judicial Panel of Enquiry would be inaugurated in the next one week to look into cases of injustice meted out to the people.
“We know that the protests have been a result of anger among youths.
“We are aware of the economic situation, especially the reduced income of many due to the COVID-19 pandemic and also unemployment situation in the country,” he noted.
Makinde said that he had directed that a N500 million Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Fund be set up.
He said that the fund would be disbursed to youths who had bright entrepreneurial ideas that would provide further employment and improve the economic landscape of Oyo State.
The governor said: “I have directed the employment of 5,000 young persons across all government agency schemes over the next few months.
“The criteria for employment and the dates for assessment will be announced by the agency authorities.
“Going forward, starting from 2021, there will be provisions for the Direct Labour Agency in the budget.
“This will ensure more employment opportunities for residents who have requisite skills when projects are awarded.
“We will be proceeding with the fifth phase distribution of palliatives by the end of this week, having completed the verification of the individuals that are qualified for them.”
The governor gave the people of the state an assurance that his administration would continue to prioritise actions that would have positive impact on the youth.
Speaking on the purpose of the stakeholders’ meeting, Makinde said the meeting was not called to apportion blame or do a post-protest analysis but to chart a way forward by rubbing minds together.
He thanked the people of the state for their cooperation during the #EndSARS protests.
“Even when thugs and hoodlums decided to cause mayhem in some parts of our dear state, some of you stood up and repelled them.
“We had so many people called the 615 Emergency Contact Number because they were not interested in the destruction of lives and property.
“Because of your actions, our losses, both human and material, were minimal,” he said.
He gave an assurance that all criminal elements that engaged in wanton destruction of lives and property would be dealt with.
Makinde urged members of the Nigeria Police working in the state to step up their responsibilities in protecting lives and property.
He noted that trust was low right now but you could quickly regain public trust through your professional conduct.
Our correspondent reports that the DIG South-West Zone, Oyeleye Oyebade and Brig.-Gen. Soji Ogunsugba, Garrison Commander, 2nd Division of the Nigerian Army attended the stakeholders’ meeting.
Others that attended the meeting were the Caretaker Chairmen in the 33 Local Government Areas (LGAs) and 35 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in the state.
The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi; the Soun of Ogbomosho, Oba Jimoh Ajagungbade; and the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Oyetunji attended the meeting.
All the stakeholders condemned the violence, destruction of lives and property that characterised the #EndSARS protests.
They, however, called on government and other authorities to rise up and do the needful for the development of youths.