From Msurshima Andrew, Makurdi
Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom has thrown his weight behind the nationwide End SARS Protests saying it is an opportunity to fix Nigeria.
The Governor who stated this on Monday while briefing Journalists in Government House, Makurdi, however, urged the youths to eschew the temptation to be violent as violence does no one good.
Ortom who stated that it has become necessary for him, as one of the leaders of the country, to lend his voice to issues affecting the nation said the youths have the legitimate right to protest the ills in the nation.
He said the End SARS protests taking place across Nigerian cities have challenged leaders of the country to rise and demonstrate sincerity in tackling the problems of Nigeria.
Ortom stated that he Forder a revolution in the country except leaders stand up and address the agitations across the nation.
“The protesting youths are asking salient questions that deserve only honest answers backed by the commitment on the part of the leadership of this country.
“Over the years, we as leaders at all levels have failed to provide the standard of leadership that our country deserves, and until we admit this failure and take steps to effect positive changes, the agitations of the people will continue”.
He commended the resilience of youths and other Nigerians on their dogged stand during the protests saying “their peaceful protests while holding the national flag clearly indicate that Nigerians genuinely want solutions to the myriad of problems confronting them and not to end the country.
“The spontaneous protests reflect the daily pains and frustrations of Nigerians in the face of unemployment, zero economic growth insecurity and corruption. The people justifiably want an end to impunity, police brutality, herdsmen attacks, banditry and other crimes bedeviling the country.
“I encourage the protesters to remain peaceful and civil in their approach and resist the temptation to be violent. Violence does no one any good and it does not proffer solutions to problems.
“The ongoing protests have offered Nigeria the opportunity to correct decades of wrongs and failures in the system. Our country is practicing democracy which guarantees the freedom of speech to all citizens. The people have the constitutional right to voice out their frustrations and demand improved standard of living.
“The restructuring of the country and other views being expressed by the people are patriotic calls and should be treated as such. Nigerians want to see police reforms and other measures that can make their country greater.
“The people want respect for the rule of law in this country. The people want an end to the practice of sacred cows which makes some persons untouchable and superior to others.”
The governor expressed his belief in the unity of the country adding that “Nigeria is the only country we have. Together, we can build a united and prosperous nation where justice and equity will reign.”