The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, has appealed to the youth of the Niger Delta region to shun violence and embrace peace as government focuses to address their demands as they relate to the #EndSARS movement.
Akpabio made the appeal at the stakeholders’ conference comprising the youth in Uyo on Saturday.
He said that President Muhammadu Buhari had directed all ministers and aides to appeal to the youth in their states and regions to eschew violence as the Niger Delta had suffered enough destruction by militants before now.
Akpabio said that he was saddened by the violence that was caused by hoodlums, who hijacked the #EndSARS protests to cause wanton destruction and looting of public and private properties.
The minister called on Niger Delta youths to shun acts capable of truncating the peace in the region.
He urged the youths to embrace programmes and policies roled out by the President aimed at addressing the challenges of the region.
“We have gone round and seen the level of destruction in the state, it is a sordid sight. People were working in all these places they destroyed. This is very sad and regrettable. This must stop.
“I am constrained to address you on the #EndSARS protests which started peacefully but turned into mayhem and criminality.
“The Federal Government is very serious in addressing the yearnings of the proper #EndSARS protesters but condemned the wanton destruction and looting of public and private properties.
“The youth should know that they are the leaders of tomorrow and should not cut short their life through criminality.
“We are appealing to the youth to cease the protest and come to the table and go into dialogue. We are very proud of our youths,” Akpabio said.
He commended the governors of the region for taking steps to ensure the security of lives and property.
He called for a bipartisan approach in the South-South geopolitical zone to address the issues raised by the youth.
In his remarks, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta, Sen. Ita Enang, warned the youth of the region against destroying public utilities and infrastructure.
Enang urged all those with genuine complaints to avail themselves of the Judicial Committee of Inquiry to address them.
The Commissioner representing Akwa Ibom in the Federal Character Commission, Dora Ebong, advised people in the state who were aggrieved about federal character issues to foward their demands to the commission for attention.