The Abia state government has received thumbs up from well meaning individuals and bodies for coming out to join the endSARS movement in their clean up efforts in the state in the aftermath of the recent demonstrations in the state.
The clean up exercise which was at the behest of clergyman Apostle Justin Smart, began on Sunday with logistical support from the Abia Endsars movement, the Restore Abia group, and was joined by the officials of the state government led by the Chief of Staff to the Governor and the Commissioner for Youth development.
While reacting to the development, a major stakeholder in the movement and a UN Mayor of Peace, Mayor Lucky Igbokwe ( Don Lulu), said the recent demonstrations and clean up exercise offered new vistas of opportunity to all stakeholders in reassessing the approach to youth development, partnerships and relations in the state.
“We must begin to see the youths as partners in progress and not hirelings who are used and dumped”, he said
He called on the government to seize the moment in addressing youth restiveness and related issues of infrastructural decay, proper accountability in governance, youth unemployment and full compensation plan for victims of police brutality as well as holding culprits accountable.
“As we take stock of what has been looted and damaged, we must not loose focus on what led to the uprising.
We must treat both the symptoms and disease to avoid a repeat of these sort of street anger” he added.
He also called for transparency in dealing with the issues arising from the ongoing deliberations at the judicial panel of enquiry
He urged government appointees to live up to the expectations of the youths of the state by proposing and pursuing programmes that will truly and genuinely empower and liberate them.
In his words “our message is simple, we are no longer going to sit back and allow our society to be messed up by those to whom it is entrusted. And we know the message has been sent and well received.”
He pleaded with Abia Youths to continue to be law abiding but always alert and conscious. According to him, the #ENDSARS mantra is beyond the protest but has become a movement and a new ideology.
“While we clean and pray over our cities, we must not loose sight of the creative destruction of the old order that has kept us in unending drive to nowhere and embrace a true reconciliation inspired by truth and willingness to remove the speck in our eyes” he concluded.