#EndSARS: "We Will Scrap SARS, Put Measures In Place To Address Demands Of Our Youths" - Buhari
Nigerian President Mohammed Buhari has hinted that his government will immediately scrap 'SARS' and put measures in place to address other demands of youths in the country.
According to him, as a democratic government, it has listened to and carefully evaluated the five-point demands of the protestors.
In an address to Nigerians in the wake of police brutality, he said "As a democratic government, we listened to, and carefully evaluated the five-point demands of the protesters. And, having accepted them, we immediately scrapped SARS and put measures in place to address the other demands of our youth. On approving the termination of SARS I already made it clear that it was in line with our commitment to the implementation of extensive Police reforms"
He added that the promptness with which Nigerians have acted seemed to have been misconstrued as a sign of weakness and twisted by some for their selfish unpatriotic interests.
"I must warn those who have hijacked and misdirected the initial, genuine and well-intended protest of some of our youths in parts of the country, against the excesses of some members of the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS)," Buhari mentioned.
He further explained that on Monday 12th October, he acknowledged the genuine concerns and agitations of members of the public regarding the excessive use of force by some members of SARS.
The Nigerian President noted that the choice to demonstrate peacefully was a fundamental right of citizens as enshrined in Section 40 of our Constitution and other enactments.
He said "But this right to protest also imposes on the demonstrators the responsibility to respect the rights of other citizens, and the necessity to operate within the law. The result of this is clear to all observers: human lives have been lost; acts of sexual violence have been reported; two major correctional facilities were attacked and convicts freed; public and private properties destroyed or vandalized"
"The sanctity of the Palace of a peace-maker, the Oba of Lagos has been violated. So-called protesters have invaded an International Airport and in the process disrupted the travel plans of fellow Nigerians and our visitors. All these executed in the name of the END SARS protests. I am indeed deeply pained that innocent lives have been lost. These tragedies are uncalled for and unnecessary" he hinted.
Mr. Buhari mentioned that there is no way whatsoever to connect these bad acts to legitimate expressions of grievance of the youth of the country.
He said "The spreading of deliberate falsehood and misinformation through the social media in particular, that this government is oblivious to the pains and plight of its citizens, is a ploy to mislead the unwary within and outside Nigeria into unfair judgement and disruptive behaviour"
"On the contrary, both our deeds and words have shown how committed this administration has been to the well being and welfare of citizens, even with the steadily dwindling revenues, and the added responsibilities and restrictions due to the Coronavirus pandemic" he added.
Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith