By Kayode Fasua in Abeokuta
The Chief Executive Officer of Aerofield Homes, Lagos, Mr. Armstrong ‘Tope Akintunde, has said that it is high time the Nigerian government started taking the empowerment and welfare of the youth very seriously.
He said that no country abandoned the development of its youth and not suffer grave consequences.
Akintunde spoke with THISDAY on Monday in Abeokuta, Ogun State, lending his voice to the ongoing massive youth protest against police brutality, popularly called #EndSARS.
According to him, failure of successive government to see the youth as major stakeholders in the governance process was part of the factors that had emboldened the Nigeria police to maltreat the youth and oftentimes send some of them to their early grave.
“I am with my constituency, the youth, on this march against impunity, recklessness, abuse of power, extortion, extra-judicial killings, among other acts of illegality in the Nigeria police.
“It is sad that the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit of the police is notorious for this and the Nigerian youths have always been at the receiving end; this is condemnable and must stop forthwith,” he demanded.
The fast-rising property merchant said it was not enough for the federal government to disband the SARS but that it should also commence wholistic reforms of the Nigeria Police, “so that it can henceforth be service-oriented and operate according to international best practices”.
Akintunde said the federal government should use the occasion of the ongoing #EndSARS protests to fight bad governance, unemployment, and corruption, and that above all, it should begin to consider integrating the youths into the governance process.
Akintunde, who is also an All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain in Ogun State, commended the governor of the state, Prince Dapo Abiodun, for setting up a judicial investigation panel on police brutality, as well as earmarking N50 million support fund for victims of alleged police brutality.
He said that sincere efforts such as this would help a lot to heal the wound inflicted on the youths and calm frayed nerves.