President Muhammadu Buhari has broken silence on the EndSARS protests against police brutality across the country, just as he spoke mildly on the shooting at Lekki tollgate where lives were said to have been lost and left several others injured in Lagos State.
Buhari further assured the EndSARS protesters that their demands have been accepted and would be implemented to ensure improvement in law enforcement in Nigeria.
The president, in a national broadcast on Thursday, cautioned the international community against taking stance on protests against police brutality and extra-judicial killing in the country.
While appealing that the youths should discontinue the street protests and constructively engage the government in finding solutions to the challenges, he noted that part of their parts of their five demands have been implemented with the disbandment of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and that measures were already in place to address other demands of the protesting youths on reform of Nigerian Police.
Buhari added that the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission was also directed to expedite action on the finalization of new salary structure for Nigerian Police and other paramilitary services that were ensuring the protection of lives and property of the citizens.
According to him, sadly, the promptness with which scrapping SARS has been misconstrued as a sign of weakness and twisted by some opinion leaders for their personal gains in the country.
“In the circumstances, I would like to appeal to protesters to note and take advantage of the various well-thought-out initiatives of this administration designed to make their lives better and more meaningful, and resist the temptation of being used by some subversive elements to cause chaos with the aim of truncating our nascent democracy”.
Stressing that the Federal Government would not tolerate any action that undermines Nigeria’s security, the president, however, cautioned on continuing the protest considering circumstances that had played out barely 24 hours before the broadcast would further amount to undermining national security and the law and order situation.