By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu Tuesday, met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja to present the position of the youth protesting nationwide against police brutality.
Speaking with State House Correspondents after the meeting, the governor said that the essence of the meeting was to pass on ”the clarion call of all our youths that are protesting in different parts of the country on the ENDSARS NOW.”
He said that the protest, indeed, was a clarion call for him and ”it speaks to how did we get here, how did we miss it and we are indeed grateful that they have been able to correct us and they have been able to show that they are indeed leaders of tomorrow.”
”So for me, their voices have been heard, their grievances are real and we are going to begin to see a better relationship going forward, ” he said.
Sanwo-Olu said that he had delivered the letter given to him by the youth to President Buhari and the President received with great assurance.
: ”I can tell you and all our youths out there that Mr. President has listened, your letter is documented, it has received attention and he has assured me that all of the things that you have said there he will see how he will begin to implement them almost immediately.
”Mr. President graciously accepted the letter that was given to me by the youths to personally deliver to him. He graciously received the letter and we went through it very very briefly. I explained to him all the things that we are doing,” he said.”
The governor also disclosed that he had earlier yesterday, met with the IGP, who also shared the same sentiments regarding the various well thought demands by youths.
He explained that the Police boss had also assured him that they were going to make further pronouncements on the burning issue.
According to him, part of the take away for me is that all the governors are on the same page, we are having a governors forum meeting tomorrow (today).
”The IG will be briefing us at that meeting and further clear directives and decisions will be taken by all the governors.”
”Like I did mention earlier today (Tuesday) in Lagos, we had pushed ahead to implement the first two and the third one which I needed their approval so that we can put this thing behind us. And in partnership with the youth, we understand and we feel them. They have spoken and spoken very well and we heard loud and clear, nationally and internationally. So, I believe it’s been a just cause, it’s a cause that is worth fighting for. We have made them realize that we have listened to them as their leaders and have taken up the pieces of all the lessons and we have all learnt from it and we believe that not only will we see a better police reform, a better relationship between the government and the ones that are governed but we will begin to see a better relationship at all spheres of government going forward. ”
When asked about the guarantee the government was given to the protesting youth, the governor explained that the governors are taking this up, this is the first time.
” I am aware of that we are even joining in that kind of a crusade. Personally, I have been out two times within the last 48 hours, in solidarity with them, acknowledging first that their points are well taken and their constitutional rights. So the first point is that it is well taken, we are not in denial, we are not colouring it, we accepted all the issues that have been said and so this is very different from the others. And there has been genuine efforts to move that conversation forward.”