I’m deeply pained, Buhari tells victims of #ENDSARS protests

..Says to #EndSARS protesters: We’ve heard you loud and clear

In a televised address to the nation on Thursday night, President Muhammadu Buhari expressed his condolences over the unfortunate loss of lives during the #EndSARS protests across the country, while reassuring Nigerians, especially youths, that the Federal Government has heard their voices and will continue to address their demands.

“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,” the President said.

He noted that peaceful protests are enshrined in the Nigerian constitution, and government, having carefully evaluated the five-point demands of the protesters, immediately scrapped the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), adding that this was in line with the Federal Government’s commitment to the implementation of extensive Police reforms.

According to President Buhari, “On Monday, 12th October, I acknowledged the genuine concerns and agitations of members of the public regarding the excessive use of force by some members of SARS. The choice to demonstrate peacefully is a fundamental right of citizens as enshrined in Section 40 of our Constitution and other enactments; 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.

“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 youths.”

The President used the opportunity to emphasize the commitment of his administration to the wellbeing and welfare of citizens, despite what he described as the “steadily dwindling revenues, and the added responsibilities and restrictions due to the Coronavirus pandemic.”

He further urged Nigerian 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,” he said, while adding that he has directed the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission to review upwards a new salary structure for members of the Nigeria Police Force, as well as the emoluments of other paramilitary services.


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