by Chi Ibe
The Minister of Youth Development has issued an official statement following the deaths of young people during the protests across the country. Full text of the release is below:
The Honourable Minister of Youth Development and Acting Minister of Sports, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi has urged security agents to exercise utmost restraint on the on-going protests.
The Honourable Minister observes that the excessive use of force by some security agents which has led to the death of few young Nigerians and caused injuries to some others is very unfortunate and regrettable. He noted that the right to protest is fundamental in a democracy therefore the Police and other security agents have a responsibility to protect this right.
Mallam Abdullahi however notes similarly that while democracy is empowering, such power needs to be exercised with the utmost responsibility. He therefore calls on the youth to be careful and not allow political opportunists to exploit their genuine grievances to destabilize the country.
He said that government recognises that the youth would be affected by the removal of fuel subsidy and that is why a major component of the Subsidy Reinvestments and Empowerment (SURE) Programme is targeted at the youth, who would also be represented in the committee set up by government to manage the programme that is estimated to deliver 370, 000 jobs to the youths across the country. He appeals to the youths to give government a chance while urging them to take full advantage of the provision made for them under the SURE programme.