Former Cross River State Governor, Donald Duke, has sought the forgiveness of youths on behalf of Nigerian leaders, insisting that the political class had failed them.
Duke who made the appeal while briefing newsmen in Calabar on Sunday noted that the failure of political leaders was behind the high level of trust deficit between government and the people.
“I do know one thing as a Nigerian. There is a trust deficit between government and the people,” Duke said.
On the Lekki tollgate incident, the former governor said: “I had conversations with the #EndSARS people, and they were not outlandish. When you provide what the society would assume to be normal and you start promising things that are abnormal in the society, the people will start wondering if there is something wrong somewhere. Now, when people spend 12 days on the street like we saw in Lagos, when you talk of a trust deficit that is deep.
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“As human beings, we have self pride and when it goes beyond that, there is a problem. We are brutalising and dehumanising our people. It is a society of very few haves and lot of have-nots. We are already in a situation where the rich won’t sleep because the poor haven’t eaten.”
“Food is one of the basic things. Animals don’t struggle for food. But for people to struggle for food, that shows how much we have dehumanised human lives. With this kind of situation, how do you expect the rest of the world to measure you, how are you as a leader? You say you are a governor, head of state or president or a minister. Go talk to your colleagues in other countries and ask them how they measure you. What we have seen is a reflection of what we used to call a banana Republic,” Duke added.
It is worthwhile to note that #EndSARS protests have reignited calls for the youths to take charge of a large part of government operations.