From: Uche Nnorom, Makurdi
Stakeholders in Benue state have demanded an apology from President, Muhammadu Buhari for not condoling families of protesters that lost their lives during the #EndSARS protests across the country.
They however, commended the proactive step deployed by the State Governor, Samuel Ortom in ensuring that youths in the state did not engage in looting and destruction of property, while the protests lasted.
Earlier, in his welcome address at the Stakeholders’ meeting, Governor Ortom noted that some of the issues raised were as a result of accummulated wrongs meted on people as well as issues that were left unattended to by successive governments.
The Governor noted that at a critical time like this, leaders must engage youths and leave no gap, otherwise, the situation may consume both the leaders and the led.
He also explained that during the protests, government had sleepless nights pondering on the security situation and calming youths, not to go violent, no matter the provocation.
He further appealed to stakeholders at the occasion to lay aside their political difference and tackle the issue at hand.
Minister for Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affair, Senator George Akume lamented the damage done on the nation’s economy, adding that government was however working on a welfare package to cushion the effect of the damage done.
The Minister who represented President Buhari at the occasion, lamented that even though SARS started well, it derailed in its functions when it began to engage in extrajudicial killings, an issue that has made some persons to be engaged in pyschological trauma.
He reeled out some youth initiatives, embarked upon by the Buhari administration including Central Bank Anchor Borrowers’ programme, N-Power, Small Medium Enterprises SMES amongst others.