…Appeals To Youths To Embrace Peace
By Nsan Ndoma-Neji, Calabar
The Minister of State for Power, Godwin Jeddy-Agba, has described as pathetic the destruction wreaked on Calabar, the Cross River State capital; even as he called on cross River youths to from destruction of private and public property so that the economy of the state and that of the nation won’t be put on the wheel.
Jeddy-Agba, who was speaking on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari, while fielding questions from journalists after leading a Federal Government delegation from Abuja on an inspection visit to sites of looting and destruction of both private and public property by protesting youths against police brutality against the citizens.
Recall that the peaceful #End SARS protest by youths across the country took a new dimension last week leading to looting and destruction of government and private property across the country, Cross River State inclusive.
The minister, who is also an indigene of Cross River State, called on the protesting youths to sheathe their swords and embrace peace in the interest of the state and country at large.
Some of the places visited by the presidential team include the Federal Psychiatric Hospital, Nigerian Television Authority, West African Examinations Council and the Cross River Basin Development Authority all in Calabar.
He said that although the youths have every right to express their grievances, resorting to the destruction of private and public property wasn’t the ideal way of expressing their anger.
Jeddy-Agba said, “I sympathize with all of us for what happened, we are in it together. The youths have spoken, we have heard though they went about it the wrong way and violently. This is not a time to trade blame but a time to rebuild and we should stick together.
“The President is committed to addressing the grievances of the youths and is asking our young men and women to sheathe their swords as their demands have been heard.
“The programmes the President has for the youths will start manifesting and measures have been out in place to create jobs and money for small and medium scale enterprises.”
But in a swift reaction to the minister’s speech, the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria CAN, in Cross Rivers State, Rev. Amb. O.B. Ekpenyong, commended the President for the visit.
Speaking through Rev. Malachi Ephraim, Ekpenyong said the violence experienced may be God’s answer to prayers so leaders know something is wrong.
He said, “What has happened in our country, especially Cross River State, in the last few days is another way God wants to answer our prayers so that our leaders will know something is wrong.
“We commend the President for the visit to the state and assure of our continued support and prayers for Nigeria.”
Responding to the minister, Simply Benjamin, said the youths have resolved to give peace a chance and sheathe their swords; even as he urged President Buhari to look critically at the demands of the youths and ensure that they are promptly and adequately addressed.