The Yoruba Youth Assembly (YYA), an umbrella body of Yoruba youth groups globally, on Wednesday appealed to the Federal Government and the South-West governors to upgrade communities’ security architecture to tame COVID-19 lockdown induced crimes.
The National President of the body, Mr Olarinde Thomas, the National Secretary, Mr Deji Oso, and Mr Nathaniel Oduyemi its Publicity Secretary respectively made the call in Lagos.
The organisation said the appeal became imperative because of escalated level of hunger and crime in Lagos and Ogun states arising from the COVID-19 lockdown.
It said increased level of security architecture in these states would safeguard the health and lives of the people.
The group lamented the failure of governments to reach the actual vulnerable people, adding that some politicians distributed “paltry and ridiculous items’’ as palliatives and along party lines defeating the essence of.
“YYA appeal for transparency in the distribution of palliatives by both the federal and state governments, while calling for an audit of the processes to ensure accountability.
“Our people in the Southwest are suffering and agonising not because of the fears of COVID-19 anymore but as a result of the prevailing terror of hunger that is openly staring at them in their state of isolation and deep-seated generic impoverishment,’’ YYA said in a statement made available to our correspondent.
The group said that security architecture in the region should be upgraded to curb crime and criminality to ensure success of the lockdown.
“The Federal Government and the state governments in the South-West, Nigeria should empower the Amotekun Security outfit to commence action, especially, during this period of global health emergency.
“Or make available an alternative standby emergency crime response squad comprising of the police, soldiers, civil defence officers and community watchguards, to be stationed on the major black spots and dangerous zones across all the South-West states in Nigeria,’’ it said.
The group demanded urgent action against hunger and insecurity as well as rapid implementation of cash transfers by Thursday April 16th to avert lawful reaction of the YYA.
It also appealed to the Federal Government to monetise its relief packages and pay directly to Nigerians through digital platforms because of lack of organised databank of citizens and demography.
“The palliative of the Federal Government should be monetised and disbursed using the BVN Platform or through the Units-Wards-Local Governments-State Government authorities in the South-West just in tandem with the U.S.-U.K. model and method.
“President Buhari, as a matter of urgency and importance, should consider and implement these proposals in the interest of our endangered and palliative-marginalised people,’’ it stated.
Our correspondent reports that 38 Yoruba youth groups both in Nigeria and in the Diaspora are affiliated to YYA.