Nigerian president, Mohammadu Buhari has warned those he says have hijacked the protest of the country’s youths. In an address this evening, Buhari reassured Nigerians of his government’s commitment to democracy, noting that it is the constitutional right of citizens to protest.
“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. 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 warned.
Acknowledging that human lives are lost, Buhari went on to.list a series of other damages recorded as the protests went violent including the attack of two prisons that saw inmates escape.
“We shall continue to ensure that liberty and freedom, as well as the fundamental rights of all citizens are protected. But remember that government also has the obligation to protect lives and properties, as well as the right of citizens to go about their daily businesses freely and protected from acts of violence” he told Nigerians.
Warning protesters against undermining national unity, he asked them to return to their homes or face the law.
“… 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. 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” he noted.
Buhari’s address has since been received with mixed reactions by many Nigerians. At the moment however it remains uncertain whether protesters will heed to his calls or stand firm on their demands.
Mimi Mefo Info