President Muhammadu Buhari today warned protesters against undermining national security and law and order, adding that under no circumstances will this be tolerated.
Buhari spoke in a speech televised today to address the ongoing #EndSARS protests.
“I therefore call on our 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,” Buhari said.
“And I call on all Nigerians to go about their normal businesses, and enjoin security agencies to protect lives and properties of all law abiding citizens without doing harm to those they are meant to protect. Let me pay tribute to officers of the Nigeria Police Force who have tragically lost their lives in the line of duty.”
Buhari said no Nigerian Government in the past has methodically and seriously approached poverty-alleviation like the current one has done.
Buhari warned those who have hijacked and misdirected the initial, genuine and well – intended protest of some youths in parts of the country, against the excesses of some members of the now disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
“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 completely destroyed or vandalised; 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 ENDSARS protests. I am indeed deeply pained that innocent lives have been lost. These tragedies are uncalled for and unnecessary. Certainly, there is no way whatsoever to connect these bad acts to legitimate expression of grievance of the youth of our country.”