President, Women Arise and Centre for Change, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, has called on governments at all levels to urgently address the frustration and hopelessness that has made decent living impossible for millions of Nigerians.
In a statement issued on Friday, she reacted to the easing of the Lagos State curfew from 8am to 6pm by the State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu. He had earlier on Tuesday declared a 24-hour curfew to arrest the violence that had taken over the state following the hijack of the #EndSARS protests by hoodlums.
Okei-Odumakin advised government to “do the needful” by responding to the root causes of the crisis.
The Women Arise president noted that the reason the protests resonated widely and wildly was because of “so much pent up anger in the land” as a result of deprivations and grinding poverty.
Okei-Odumakin also called on government at different levels to urgently implement policies that address the grievances, not just of the youths, but also of the generality of our people.
The Centre for Change boss mourned “vibrant and patriotic” youths who lost their lives during the struggle as well as security agents who died in the line of duty.
She added that government’s high-handedness in its dealings with citizens must become a thing of the past.
“Beginning Saturday, the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has relaxed the statewide curfew from 8am to 6pm,” Okei-Odumakin said.
“This is understandable as Lagos is the commercial nerve centre of the country.
“The horrendous damage done to businesses and infrastructure also has to be taken account of by those concerned and a way forward plotted. A state yet to recover fully from months of Covid-19 lockdown cannot endure another long lockdown without harsh economic consequences.
“It is important that normalcy return as soon as possible while government brazes up to do the needful in terms of responding to the root causes of the crisis.
“We are saddened by the lives lost and the quantum of destruction witnessed. We specifically mourn our vibrant and patriotic youths who needlessly lost their lives. We also commiserate with security men doing lawful duty who died in line of duty.
“Government at different levels must urgently implement policies that address the grievances not just of the youths but also of the generality of our people.
“That there is so much pent up anger in the land as a result of deprivations and grinding poverty is the very reason the protests resonated widely and wildly in the first place.
“It is time to now address such frustration and hopelessness that has made decent living impossible for millions of our people.
“Staggering youth unemployment must now be addressed. Skyrocketed cost of living must be brought down.
“And government high-handedness in its dealings with citizens must become a thing of the past.
“To regain the confidence of the people which it has lost will be a Herculean task for government but it must begin the arduous task of clawing its way back into reckoning.
“Our people are good people who will positively respond if only they see government make efforts in the right direction. We are not a difficult people. We are very easy to please.
“Not making efforts at all, the brazen and provocative opulence of the nouveau riche, the impunity and widespread corruption of the ruling class, and the selfishness of our leaders in the face of massive, widespread, and grinding poverty have been the problem.
“Time to turn a new leaf is now! May the good Lord heal our land!”