A group, Eminent Elders Forum (EEF) has commended the Nigerian Youths for protesting peacefully against Police brutality and other forms of social and economic challenges facing the country.
In a communique after a virtual meeting on Thursday, but which was made available to journalists on Saturday, the EEF, body being apolitical, non religious, non tribal/ethnic, of about 300 highly cerebral, accomplished and diversely distinguished eminent elders across the country, urged the Federal government to take actions that would address the protesters’ demands.
The communique said: “The recent happenings in our country and particularly the EndSARS peaceful protests across the country by our youths, is something that should be of great concern to all well meaning people.
“We had an online deliberations for several hours on Friday, October 23, 2020 on the state of our country including the trending #End SARS peaceful protests by the youths across the country.
“We observed that the agitations of the youths are well founded thus signalling our collective failure to which we as Elders cannot, in all sincere rationalisation, extricate ourselves.
We own up to our collective failure or at least part thereof.
“Now that many of us are deep into retirement, we cannot but lend our support for the need to squarely address the yearnings of our present and future generations as epitomised in the demands from our children and grandchildren on the streets in a peaceful protest for reformation and better future.
“To this end therefore, we commend our youths for their determined peaceful protests against the barrages of our national challenges including Police brutality against the citizens.
“We urge the youths not to take the laws into their hands to do anything unbecoming of or, contrary to orderly conduct.
The elders said, it was time protesters retreat and allow negotiation with the Federal government.
“Having made their points, the protesting youths are hereby enjoined to retreat and allow negotiations with the various governments in the Country with the Federal Government as the arrow head.
“We call on governments at all levels whether local, state and federal to please take the needful actions that will assuage the bad blood already brewed and the fear of the unknown currently ravaging our dear country.
To arrive at acceptable negotiation, the Forum explained, Nigeria’s security architecture must be seriously shaken with exit of Service Chiefs, stating that there must be a comprehensive reforms that would see to graduates manning political offices at various levels of governance.
“The communique which was signed by Prof. Chukwuemeka Eze Onukaogu, Chairman of the Committee and five other members said the demands have been filtered into 17 for government’s attention.
(1) End SARS (Police Brutality)
(2) Sack Security Chiefs
(3) Improved Security
(4) Reduce Petrol Pump Price
(5) Reduction in Electricity Bill
(6) Create Jobs
(7) Stop Banditry and Killer Herdsmen
(8) Inclusive Government with 50% youths
(9) End ASUU Strike
(10) Politicians should be placed on minimum wage
(11) Electoral reforms :
(a) A complete migration to a 100% electronic voting
(b) The President/Governors must have at least first university degrees or equivalent.
(12) Strip Governors/President of security votes and of all jumbo benefits after office.
(13) Scrap jumbo salaries and allowances of National Assembly members and stop completely constituency projects.
Introduce sitting allowances per sitting for Senators, House of Representative and States House of Assembly members respectively.
(14) A new people-oriented constitution for Nigeria with full Federation or Regional System of Government as it was back in 1963.
(15) Implementation of recommendation of 2014 National Conference.
(16) Appointment of INEC Chairman/Officials should be made by Independent Body supervised by Civil Right Organizations.
17) Increase salaries of all security outfits, teachers, and Doctors/medical and paramedical”, it concluded.
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