By Ochiaka Ugwu
The Nigerian Institute of Architects has urged youths to continue to engage with government in order to achieve their desire of a better nation.
In a statement released in Abuja at the weekend by the Institute’s President, Arc. Sonny S. T. Echono, FNIA, PNIA, titled: “Reaction to the EndSARS Protests” it noted that the Institute salutes the courage and largely peaceful conduct of the youth during the period of their protest and encourage their continued engagement with government.
Arc. Echono also empathized with their members, especially graduate and student members who have been victims of police harassment and brutality on account of such basic acts as carrying a laptop or other devices critical to Architectural education.
He informed that State Chapters have been directed to compile list of affected members for submission to the respective State Judicial panels on Police Brutality recently inaugurated in States across the nation.
Continuing, Echono stated that arrangements have been made to provide some measure of succor to members with confirmed cases of police harassment and brutality under the Benevolent Fund of the Institute.
His words, “As part of our support for the ongoing reforms of the Federal Government we are particularly concerned with the state of the buildings and facilities which drive the key sectors and intends to partner with government at all levels and other professionals in the built environment to commence a nationwide public audit for all Police colleges, stations, barracks and related facilities, prisons, courts, healthcare facilities, public schools (Primary and Secondary), public squares, parks and gardens, cultural centres as well as sports facilities.
“This exercise will be carried out across the 36 States of our Federation and the FCT by our Special Projects Committee and task teams setup in all our State Chapters in conjunction with the relevant government personnel.
“The outcome of this exercise will be communicated to government at all levels with a view to advising and guiding informed interventions aimed at addressing the fundamental shortcomings identified.
“Specifically we note the correlation between nonfunctional and dilapidated police stations and barracks that are unfit for human habitation to the violent disposition of some personnel of the Nigeria Police.
“We will therefore liaise with the Police authorities at the National and State levels to design modern facilities that will be conducive for the discharge of their mandates”, he said.