#EndSARS: Gov Sanwo-Olu appeals to Nigerian Youth for reconciliation  

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Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, on Tuesday, appealed to the Nigerian youth for reconciliation on the provocative issues of police brutality and the #EndSARS Movement, promising he will not give up his belief in Nigerian youth.

The Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Lagos State, had on Tuesday organized a peace conference towards creating a common platform for conflict resolution, which was facilitated by the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Youth Matters, Saheed Akanbi, in Ikeja.

Governor Sanwo-Olu,at the peace conference, with the theme – “Rebuilding for Greatness: Peaceful Conflict Resolution,” at the LTV Blue Roof, Ikeja, had declared: “Today is a day of reconciliation and it is about our teeming youths. This is the moment to create a common ground and take ownership of our future. We have, indeed, assessed what we have passed through as a people; it’s now the moment to come together and build our lives together.

“This event is about aggregating all the conversations of the millions of youths that have been represented here. All of us have agreed that, when we work together, we can build a resilient society we will truly be proud of. We will continue to build, engage and work with our young people.

“I certainly will not give up on you as partners in progress and your ability to bring about positive changes.

“I thank all the youths, who participate in this forum, for the valuable suggestions offered and the ideas shared. I’m taking full responsibility and ownership of all the feedback recommended for me here. All the points have been taken and I will continue to rely on them in the course of governance.”

Listening to a seven-man discussion panel moderated by Mazi Sam Uche Anyamele, a filmmaker, Governor Sanwo-Olu emphasized that the moment for true reconciliation had begun, adding that Lagos can now undergo a total healing process after the 2020 coordinated attacks on its assets, which also resulted in loss of lives and livelihoods.

However, the conference was more of partisan political discourse attended by party members. Genuine non-partisan Nigerian youth in the state had very low, if any, participation at the said conference. Invariably, Sanwo-Olu’s message may have been restricted to the walls of the party government.

However, the Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Segun Dawodu, noted that the Lagos State government recognised the youth as stakeholders in peace building and violence prevention.

The Commissioner, represented by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Oluwagbemiga Aina, noted that the aftermath of negative conflicts would never be beneficial to any society.

The keynote Speaker and Deputy Vice Chancellor of the Lagos State University (LASU), Professor Wahab Ellias, observed that the theme of the event demonstrated a resilient city.

The conference was held in the wake of the Wednesday, October 20 one year anniversary of the #EndSARS protest and the #Lekkitollgateshooting in 2020.