President Muhammadu Buhari has finally addressed the nation after several calls from different quarters since the beginning of the EndSARS protest in the country.
The protest which was initially meant to push for an end to police brutality, recently took a different dimension which led to the destruction of lives and properties in many cities across the country.
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The president’s address came after a closed door meeting with the security chiefs in the wake of the carnage that accompanied the protest across the country.
Below are the major point of his address:
- He warned against “those who have hijacked and misdirected” the initial genuine intents behind ENDSARS.
- He acknowledged the “genuine concerns and agitations” of the public regarding “excessive use of force” by SARS operatives.
- He said the choice to demonstration was a fundamental right but protesters must respect the rights of other citizens.
- He said the five points of ENDSARS were evaluated and accepted, hence the scrapping of SARS—one of the demands—and setting up measures to address the other demands.
- “Sadly, the promptness with which we have acted seemed to have been misconstrued as a sign of weakness and twisted by some for their selfish unpatriotic interests,” he added.
- He noted the tragedies that have taken place in the name of ENDSARS protests are “uncalled for and unnecessary” and certainly in no way connects to legitimate expression of grievance.
- He directed fasttrack on finalise a new salary structure for the police and upward review of pay for other paramilitary services.
- He listed his administration’s initiatives designed to make the lives of young people better and meaning, asked them to resist temptation of being used by some subversive elements to cause chaos.
- He called on youths to discontinue the street protests and constructively engage government in finding solutions.
- “Your voice has been heard loud and clear and we are responding,” he said.
- He said nigerians can go about their business but security agencies must “protect lives and properties of all law-abiding citizens without doing harm to those they are meant to protect.”