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EndSARS: Lawyers Urge Meaningful Engagement Of Youths

One year after the EndSARS protest, some lawyers have urged the three tiers of government to meaningfully engage the youth and improve security to prevent a recurrence.

The lawyers spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Thursday.

NAN reports that youths carried out a protest across the country on Oct. 20 2020, against brutality by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police.

A constitutional lawyer, Mr Kabir Akingbolu, regretted that hoodlums hijacked the protest and destroyed lives as well as public and private property.

He noted that many of the destroyed property had yet to be repaired or replaced, while affected individuals and organisations were still suffering  losses.

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“A lot of people went down and will not be able to rise again because of the weight of their looted or burnt property.

“Others will recover after a long time,’’ he said.

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Akingbolu said that improved economy and security would discourage such a protest.

The lawyer called for prosecution of all those who committed crimes through the protest.

Akingbolu called on governments to meet the needs of the people and create more jobs as a strategy to reduce restivesness.

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“I call on the government to listen to the yearnings of the people and provide a secure future for the masses,” he said.

A Lagos-based lawyer, Mr Kunle Bamidele, described the protest as more than a call for security sector reform in Nigeria.

“Existing social inequalities have been exacerbated by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The cumulative effects of the pandemic on the society in the absence of safety nets, with attendant closure of educational institutions, left many young people alienated and angry.

“This has been complicated by worsening economic conditions,” he said.

Bamidele said that the effects of the protest on Nigeria’s economy were huge.

According to him, in Lagos State, the cost of replacing destroyed assets was put at one trillion naira.

“It will take a long time to recover some  and definitely not all.

“This will definitely manifest in the gross domestic product,” he said. (NAN)

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