Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has called on youths in the state to shun the ongoing ENDSARS protest, which he said, has taken a new dimension, resulting into the loss of lives, as well as the destruction of properties.
Engineer Sule made the call while flagging off a sensitization programme against the spate of kidnapping and rape across the state, at the Government House, on Wednesday.
While appealing to the general public to exercise restraint on the ongoing protest on the activities of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), the Governor urged the youths in particular, to shun the protest because some unpatriotic elements have hijacked it to maim, kill and destroy properties.
Engineer Sule further called on the youths to remain calm and not to get involved in the breakdown of law and order, as according to him, government is already on top of the situation.
Speaking on the theme of the event, “Kidnapping and Rape in Nigeria: Implications and Challenges for Economic Development in Nasarawa State, Engineer Sule, said his administration is committed to ensuring a serene environment for economic activities to thrive in the state.
The Governor described as worrisome the recent increase in the spate of kidnapping and rape cases in the state, which have continued to pose danger to human lives, as well as heighten fears among the people, with attendant negative implications, particularly on the girl child.
Engineer Sule noted that it was because of this that his administration signed into law in April this year, the Kidnapping and Rape Prohibition Act, which has since been gazetted, in order to stem the tide of the two offences in the state.
“The law prohibits kidnapping and rape and further stipulated stiff penalties for violators, including death sentences in extreme cases, especially where the victims of kidnapping loses their lives,” he stated.
The Governor warned that government will not hesitate to ensure full application of this law to deter people from committing or indulging in the heinous acts.
Engineer Sule commended security agencies operating in the state, for their doggedness and resilience in the fight against crimes and criminality, which led to the release of kidnapped persons in the state.
He equally commended the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, for organizing the sensitization programme.
Top government functionaries that attended the event include the State Deputy Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe, Nasarawa State First Lady, Hajiya Silifat Abdullahi Sule and the convener of the event, Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Hon. Dogo Shammah, among others.
Several resource persons presented papers on the way forward, especially on how to reduce the incidences of kidnapping and rape in the state.
Some of the speakers include, State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Associate Prof Abdulkarim Abubakar Kana, Emir of Lafia, HRH, Justice Sidi Bage (rtd), Commissioner of Police, Bola Longe and development expert and social activist, Dr. Nawani Aboki, among others.