(AGENDAWATCHDOG) – Following weeks of nationwide #EndSARS protests by Nigerians calling for general police reforms and good governance, which turned violent a few days ago, resulting in the loss of lives and destruction of property, President Muhamadu Buhari addressed Nigerians on October 22, 2020, following a meeting with the country’s Service Chiefs at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Below are the main highlights of his nationwide broadcast on the #EndSARS protest:
MAIN HIGHLIGHTS OF PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI’S NATIONWIDE AADDRESS ON THE #ENDSARS PROTESTS
–.A stern warning to the hijackers of the initially genuine, well-intended EndSARS protests, to desist from further disturbing the peace.
-.That the FG, having listened to, and carefully evaluated the five-point demands of the protesters, which resulted in the scrapping of SARS, had put measures in place to address the other demands of the youths and carry out comprehensive police reforms.
-. Acknowledged that the choice to demonstrate peacefully was a fundamental right of Nigerian citizens as enshrined in Section 40 of the country’s Constitution and other enactments, but that this right should be exercised within the law.
-.A warning that government’s acceptance of the 5 point demands of the #EndSARS protesters should not be seen as a sign of weakness by unpatriotic elements.
-. Flayed the loss of human lives, acts of sexual violence, jailbreaks, destruction and vandalization of public and private properties, violation of the Palace of the Oba of Lagos, and invasion of an International Airport by hoodlums.
-. Carpeted the spreading of deliberate falsehood and misinformation through the social media, that the incumbent government was unmindful of the pains and plights of its citizens, as a ploy to mislead the unsuspecting within and outside Nigeria into unfair judgement and disruptive behaviour.
-. Reeled out the commitment of his administration to improving the general wellbeing and welfare of citizens, despite the steadily dwindling revenues, and the added responsibilities and restrictions consequent to the Coronavirus pandemic.
-.Affirmed government’s commitment to the welfare of police personnel, as demonstrated through an order to the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission to expedite action on the finalization of the new salary structure of members of the Nigeria Police Force, alongside the review of the emoluments of other paramilitary services.
-. Disclosed that his administration had come up with a new salary structure and other incentives for Nigerian teachers.
-. Implored Nigeria’s neighbours and the international community to seek to know all the facts available before taking positions or rushing to judgment and making hasty pronouncements on the country’s internal issues.
-. Called on Nigerian youths to discontinue the street protests and opt for constructive engagements with government in finding solutions.