Desmond Elliot

The lawmaker representing Surulere 1 Constituency in the Lagos State House of Assembly, Desmond Elliot, on Thursday declared his support for the agitations against police brutality as canvassed for during the recent EndSARS protests.

The lawmaker, who is also a leading practitioner in the Nigerian movie industry however said the agitations should be done with love.

Elliot spoke as he was being criticized for allegedly advocating the control of the use of social media in Nigeria, the main platform used to rally Nigerians for the EndSARS protests.

“On the EndSARS issue, personally I am with them. I support their cause but I also want to believe it should be done with love,’’ Elliot said call during a Constituency Stakeholders’ meeting, which was simultaneously held in all constituencies in the state.

The lawmaker also called for love and harmony among youths to overcome the present crisis in the constituency.

He commended the residents of Surulere for their resilience and ability to adopt the ‘New Normal’ lifestyle due to COVID-19 pandemic.

The theme of the meeting was “Post-COVID-19: The Challenges and Prospects’’.

“It is part of our responsibilities as members of the House of Assembly to inform our constituents.

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“We are the eyes and mouth of the public and we are here to represent the public and our duty is to give them the score card of what the government is planning.

“Considering all that happened during the COVID-19 pandemic and the present crisis, Surulere is now peaceful.

“Just some grey areas where the youth are agitated and we the elders are going to have meetings with the communities affected and the Police area commander to sort things out.

“On the EndSARS issue, personally I am with them. I support their cause but I also want to believe it should be done with love,’’ the lawmaker said.

According to him, the plight of the youth must be taken into consideration.

“I have been in this system for five years. We must show love to everyone, the miscreant, hooligans, the good, young and old.

“They must understand that this is a new generation,” Elliot said.

The lawmaker noted that the country and the state were facing three shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic: dwindling oil and tax revenue, contraction in global trade and economic recession.

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He said the recent youth unrest impacted negatively on the economy of the state.

“The recent youth unrest is negatively impacting on the economy of the state. Hence the need to rethink about our revenue generation model as a top priority to keep the economy of the state afloat.

“Thus in tackling the socio-economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals are encouraged to look into the effective management of various post-pandemic opportunities.

“Such opportunities as business creation by exploring e-commerce, adapting to the new ICT potential; and acquiring relevant skills or education.

“Government must also invest more in e-governance to facilitate more efficient and robust governance,” he said.

He assured residents of Surulere that the House of Assembly would reach out to bring governance closer to the people to enable participatory governance, urging all to support the government by performing their civic duties.

Also speaking at the meeting, the Area Commander, Area C Police Command, Surulere, ACP Tijani Fatai, called for dialogue between the police and the youth to restore the cordial relationship.

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Fatai expressed dissatisfaction with the looting, noting that the youth could not come out to protect their territory from hoodlums.

“The command is ever ready to defend and protect lives and property of Surulere residents. I was disappointed with our youths as they could not come forth to protect their own area.

“We have always had cordial relationship as I ensured I treated your issues immediately. I expect youths of Surulere to be more coordinated.

“There should be a form of youth and police interaction for peace and harmony to reign,” he said.

He called for a peaceful resolution to safeguard lives and property in the constituency. (NAN)