By Oki Samson
Chairman, Mr Ibadin Sues for Youth-Government Engagement to Resolve National Issues
The two weeks of peaceful marches and its sad hijack by hoodlums has culminated into the looting of many government and private facilities and attendant polluted and filthy state of many parts of Lagos including the calm and decent terrain of Victoria Island.
But meaningful residents of Victoria Island will not allow the rot to continue. Hence, the Police Community Relations Committee in the area swung into action a few days ago to clean up the environment.
This feat again underscores the importance of a good working relationship between the Police apparatus and the community it serves. Speaking at the cleanup exercise, the Chairman of PCRC, Victoria Island, Mr Matthew Ibadin stated that the purpose of PCRC is service to the nation. ‘This service was displayed by cleaning up Victoria-Island because of the mess of the protest. We want to remove the tires on the road, the garbage and rubbish that litre the city.’
‘If you were here a day before yesterday, everywhere was messed up. We are trying to clean this place up, so, that those coming to work tomorrow can meet a clean Victoria Island. I must commend my team (PCRC), the police, our Chief for what we have done together because it is a community effort.’
‘We show that we are PCRC, we are here to help the society, police, serve the nation, clean the environment, defend the society where our wives and children are. We are going to partner with a corporate organization because we can’t do it alone. It is called community financing, for example, the bike we just bought was funded by ICAN and other companies are showing their interest to partner with us. All we are doing is to show that we can at least help out in our community where we live, our impact need to be felt by people living in our community.’
Giving his advice to youths, Mr Ibadin said: ‘I think they can be more proactive by engaging in dialogue because it is still the best thing to do. If you go to Liberia, Syria, violence never solves any problem. War is not the solution, even if you go to war, you must go to a round table to dialogue. I think the Government has learnt a lesson, even the youth, society and corporate organizations, we have learnt our lesson.’
‘I think the government can do better, they should come up with a policy that will involve the youth. There is no government that can create employment. The government should come up with policy that will empower the entrepreneur to engage more youth.’
‘The government should invest money on electricity, education, primary school, they can do better, the salaries of the police should be increased, because they don’t have manpower, they work for days without going home. They need to be financed in their accommodation, this can’t be done by the government, which is why corporate organizations need to come in, so that we all can help the people.’
On his part, Chief Anthony said: ‘We are here today because of the carnage on the road and the Endsars protest. We are here to clean up Victoria Island as a whole so that people that will resume in a fresh environment because a cleaner environment will enhance a better product for the society in general. I advise the government that they need to take care of the youth because they are the leaders of today, not tomorrow any longer. The youths are ahead of us so we need to give the baton to them, let them take the lead and so they can take care of us as it is today.’
The Vice-Chairman of the Committee, James Intia Aparawa said: ‘We are here to clean up the mess that has happened over this period of time. Take care of little things, so that little things will take care of themselves. It is a wake-up call for everybody in Nigeria, both young and old.’
Another member of PCRC Victoria Island, Michael Anene said: ‘ We are here today to show an example of the reason why we exist, because our objective is to relate with the community, keep our environment clean, both in the community and in our environment, the exercise being embarked on today was a cleanup exercise to show that whatever has been destroyed, we will build up and this is a message we are giving to our youth today, that together we can build a stronger, cleaner Nation. That is why PCRC is here because we come down to the grassroots we are not hiding behind any office, we are right here in the community and we have a physical presence. We are here to show the example that we are out here to clean all by ourselves, we are not looking for anybody but we are admonishing people to take up such initiative in their own areas and environment, so that by Monday when people see a cleaner environment, it helps their mind and mentality,
Another member, Mr Andrew shared: ‘My advice to government is to hear the youth’s demands because the youths only used ENDSARS as a catchword. What the government needs to do is to attend to the civil servants needs, the retirees should get their money on time because the majority of these youths family members are retired. For the Secretary of PCRC Victoria Island, Daniel Omorere, ‘the message is clear, as community members we decided to come out and clean the environment. You know that a cleaner environment is better for us to operate. Dialogue is one thing we can’t take out of this whole thing’.