By Hammed Shittu
The Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemisola Rukayah Saraki has said the President Muhammadu Buhari led federal government has shown willingness and drive towards eradicating poverty and unemployment in the country.
She said the development has made Buhari to put in place various measures and initiatives principally targeted at achieving the goals.
The minister spoke at Ilorin, recently, at a roundtable dialogue with youths and women in Kwara State aftermath of the #ENDSARS #.
Various invited representatives of youth organisations and women in the state gave their views about their challenges with governments and security agencies in their efforts to secure employment and live a better life.
She stated that, “Young people under 30 make up more than 40 per cent of Nigeria’s population.
“According to Chatham House, If Nigeria’s unemployed youth were its own country, it would be larger than Tunisia or Belgium”.
The minister added that, “President Muhammadu Buhari, long before the commencement of the protest had directed the ministers to return to their various constituencies and engage the stakeholders on how to make the country work better for all.”
Saraki noted that, “Nigeria has indeed witnessed an unprecedented agitation by youths during the #EndSars protest, while I recognise the right to demonstrate peacefully as enshrined in Section 40 of our Constitution and other enactments, I am saddened at the aftermath of the peaceful demonstration.
“The spread of misinformation and false news through social media is on the rise. The task to make social media our safe haven lies in our fingertips.
“Before you share any message on social message, ask yourself; is it true? Is it helpful? Is it inspiring? Is it necessary? Is it kind? I grieve heavily for our brothers and sisters who lost their lives, businesses or got injured in the event of this social unrest.
“I urge security agents and other necessary bodies to employ diplomacy and utmost civility while working to restore peace and sanity to our land”.
Saraki told the youths that no one should be held responsible for the current pathetic state Nigeria has found herself, saying “,We shouldn’t play a blame game, we are all guilty ,rather we should all chart a way forward for Nigeria”.
The coordinator of #ENDSARS protesters in the state, Miss Saadat Bibire said, there were clear indications from the authorities that the youths were still being taken for granted.
Saadat said only one of the five demands of #ENDSARS, setting up of Panel of inquiry had been looked into by the state governments, while the police were still arresting her members as at Thursday, while members accounts were being frozen.
A human rights activist in Ilorin Rasheed Akogun, said all officers of uniformed security agencies in the country over the years displayed a false impression that they are superior to the civilians whose resources are being used to sustain them, saying that now is the time for that orientation to change.
Akogun, a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) criticised the ruling party for its ongoing efforts to clamp down of social media.