“We shall continue to ensure that liberty & freedom, as well as the fundamental rights of all citizens protected but remember this government also has an obligation to protect lives & properties, as well as the right of citizens to go about the daily businesses freely and protected”, were some of President Buhari’s words as he addressed the nation on the nationwide #EndSARS protests.
Buhari’s address is coming after over 24 hours of silence and non-concern for the killings of protesters, especially the Lekki Toll Gate massacre.This is not a surprise to many of the youths as, when the protests first began, the President it took Buhari 4 days after before he address the nation, following call out and demands. Things degenerated, leading to the killings of many youths across the country, with Lekki Toll Gate, which is the most peaceful protest location, reportedly recording the most deaths, it took President Buhari over 24 hours to address the nation. As he finally did, here are 10 points from his address.
President Buhari says he is deeply pained that innocent lives have been lost and these tragedies, are uncalled for and unnecessary.
As said by the Presidency before the massive killings, the President noted again that the voices of the youths have been heard loud and clear and his administration is responding.
President Buhari said nothing about the Lekki Massacre but paid tribute to the Policemen who lost their lives in the movement of the ‘so-called protesters.’
He, however, said that the protests will no longer be allowed to continue across the country. “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. For you to do otherwise will amount to undermining national security and the law and order situation. Under no circumstances will this be tolerated”, he said.
He further asked the youths to take advantage of the several initiatives of his administration designed to make their lives better, and resist the temptations of being used to cause chaos with the aim of truncating the nation’s democracy. “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”, he said.
The President added that the youths took the quick resolution to disband SARS and replace it with SWAT as a sign of weakness which according to him, is understandable, and has been twisted by some for their selfish unpatriotic interest, .
He warned the hoodlums who have hijacked the protests to desist. “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)”, he said.
Buhari thanked the international communities for their intervention and noted that they should get facts before making any judgement. “To our neighbors and members of the international community, we thank you and want you all to know the facts before making judgement and haste pronouncements”, he said.
He noted that his administration has come up with a new salary structure for police and teachers. “With regard to the welfare of the police personnel, the national salaries, income and wages commission has been directed to expedite actions on the new salary structure for the police force, the enrollment of other paramilitary services are also being reviewed upwards. In order to underscore the importance of education in preparing youths for the future, this administration has come up with a new salary structure and other incentives for our teachers.”
He finally promised that his administration will continue to ensure the liberty and freedom of people, as well protect the fundamental human rights of the people, their lives, properties and daily businesses. “We shall continue to ensure that liberty & freedom, as well as the fundamental rights of all citizens protected but remember this government also has an obligation to protect lives & properties, as well as the right of citizens to go about the daily businesses freely and protected”, he said.Photos Credit: Twitter