…Urges the Youths to partner with Police for sustainable Service reform
“The ongoing “#EndSARS protests offer a timely opportunity for Nigerian governments to integrate the youths back into socio- economic development of the country.”
The Vice President, Industriall Global union, Comrade Issa Aremu made this observation in a press briefing in Kaduna on Tuesday.
According to him, for too long through youth mass unemployment, prolonged closures of universities due to ASUU strikes, income poverty and Police criminalization, Nigerian youths have been pushed on the margins of the society. He added that “the crisis at hand is nothing but the price of youth exclusion”
“If you don’t keep them busy in schools as students, in factories for those with decent jobs, if you don’t stop harassing and criminalizing them on the streets, what you have is what we are seeing on our streets”.
The labour leader said the protest is “ a legitimate clarion call” on the part of the youths for “inclusive development” which must be harnessed by various authorities adding that the 5-point agenda offer the basis for government-youth engagement.
He commended State Governors of Lagos and Plateau for constituting the the judicial panels to unravel the atrocities of the defunct SARS adding that the Federal government should also hit the ground running by having a truce with ASUU, reopen the universities and getting the students off the streets back to the class rooms. The government he also said should launch its much expected 777,000 jobs to creatively keep the youths engaged.
Comrade Aremu said IndustriALL global union promotes the active integration of young workers into the unions as well as development through youth employment and education, the union is willing to partner with the government to resolve the present impasse.
The labour leader observed that it was time Nigeria reaped the “demographic dividend” with a positive impact on economic growth, political stability, by allowing for inclusivity in all aspects of development, adding that “we must replace state capture by the few with mass state democratization that must involve the youths and women”.
Comrade Aremu who was also the Chairman of the Youth and Labour sub-Committee of 2014 National Conference said “a youth bulge” offers opportunity for development, not a threat.
However comrade Aremu advised the protesting youths to urgently diversify their strategy from the streets already vulnerable to violence and COVID-19 pandemic to negotiating tables and meaningful results. “ To the extent that the streets draw attention to your plights, streets protest have their value. But the youths must also realize that it was on the streets many of them were brutalized by some police. So the earlier they get off the streets to meaningful discussions with the authorities to punish police brutalities, get them sustainable jobs and return them back to class rooms, (the better).The streets have their limitations including providing covers for violent opportunists”!
While acknowledging the trust deficit between the police and the protesters, the labour leader urged the protesting youths to give the current Inspector General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, the necessary support to realize the implementation of the new Police Tactical Team, SWAT, launched in lieu of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).