By Dorcas Elusogbon
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, on Monday, hosted former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, with an appeal to the EndSARS protesters across the country to retreat.
Ooni, while receiving Obasanjo at his Ile Oodua Palace, Ile-Ife, described the #EndSARS protests as a clear message by the Nigerian youth to the government, particularly on the coordinated manner in which the protests were being organized, both in Nigeria and beyond.
He urged the youths to allow government to fully attend to their demands.
“If you look at the #EndSARS protest, you will see that our youths have what it takes to rule the country.
“Since day one, they have shown leadership, accountability and huge sense of responsibility which have sent a clear message to the government.
“Every day at 11:50 pm, they displayed their financial update, and to me, I’m highly amazed with their sense of accountability.
“As a youth leader myself, I am proud that we all have communicated our ideas and it is heartwarming that we have been heard.
“Dear youths, it is time to retreat so as to prevent those with ulterior motives from hijacking the peaceful message of peace.
“The whole world is aware of our peaceful conduct and we must not let some bad elements tarnish this enviable integrity.
“Once again, I wish to urge our youths to stop the protest, for now, and give peace a chance. This will prevent government from using force,” the royal father said.
On the recent attack on Gov. Gboyega Oyetola’s convoy by some hoodlums at the venue of #EndSARS protest in Osogbo, the Ooni described the incidence as unfortunate.
“It is sad and we cannot but condemn it, as it is against the ethos of ‘Omoluabi’ for which we are known in Osun.
“Similarly, I want to commend Mr. Governor for the maturity which he has displayed in the handling of this sensitive issue, notwithstanding the provocation.
“It shows him as a father that he is. May God continue to protect him,” the Ooni said.
Speaking earlier, Obasanjo described the #EndSARS protest as the product of an extensive agitation by the Nigerian youths that needed to be attended to by government.
“More than 65 percent of our population are under between the ages of 18 and 30; they are not only struggling to acquire education, they are also aspiring for the best that life can offer them.
“Some of them didn’t even get educated, while those who are educated are getting frustrated because of lack of opportunities. We must realize that the lid on the boiling steam would have to be removed.
“But, I believe that there are windows of opportunity which the government can explore to show that it cares about the people’s welfare, especially the youths, as the father of the country and particularly, as the father of the youth.
“Fortunately, the president has children and he knows how youths behave.
“I believe that the opportunities can still be taken to let the youth know that he, as a father, understands their plight and that his government understands their plight and he is ready to make life better for them,” Obasanjo said.
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