Now that the President has spoken acknowledging the demands and explaining what government is doing about them. I want to thank the leadership of the protest movement in Ekiti for calling off the protest. The import of the protest has been largely achieved. The Federal Government has banned the SARS department in response to the five demands made by the EndSARS movement and those held in SARS detention centres have been released. In Ekiti, as in many States of the Federation, a Judicial Panel of Enquiry to look into the cases of abuses, extra-judicial acts and general misconduct which led to the protest, has been set up. A restitution fund to compensate for the losses of the victims of such abuses is also established while other demands like increase in salaries of police officers is being attended to.
I urge our youths who want nothing but a nation that serves and benefit all to show restraint in the way they pursue their demands. I fully understand and endorse the far-reaching message that the EndSARS protest articulated. It is generally a protest not just against brutality by police
As a result of those who unleashed mayhem and brigandage on private and public property, the state government was compelled to impose a 24 hour curfew on the State. While calm has been restored in most parts of the State, we have decided to watch development over the weekend before deciding on next steps. It is for this reason that I have extended the 24 hour curfew on the State until 0600hrs on Monday, 26th October 2020.
This painful action was taken in the best interest of ourselves to ensure that the crisis does not escalate since criminals enjoy mimicking violent occurrences in other places. It is my hope that we will not have cause to extend the curfew any further. I want to urge all our traditional institutions, religious bodies, politicians and community leaders to use this weekend to engage the youth in their respective communities to give peace a chance. To this end, the curfew will allow an exception for Friday Jumat and Saturday and Sunday worship in churches.
In the meantime, security agencies have been instructed to exercise judicious restraint in response to the tense situation. The intention of Government is to ensure peace, under no condition should indiscretional responses be allowed to escalate the situation. I therefore appeal for the cooperation of our people and the security personnel who are doing a tremendous job to ensure that we live in peace.
As for those who may still want to test the resolve of government by engaging in violent action leading to a breakdown of law and order, I urge you to think twice because I will not hesitate to bring the full weight of the law against such errant conduct.
Finally, let me commiserate with those who have suffered losses as a result of the wanton destruction that occurred in the State. May the Good Lord heal our land and give us strength to bring joy and succour where there is sadness, despair and despondency.
Alale Ekiti a gbe a.
Dr. Kayode Fayemi, CON
October 22, 2020.