Reports of President Buhari's Meeting with Past Presidents


An important virtual meeting held today (23-10-2020), the President discussed with all past presidents (Gen. Yakubu Gowon, President Olusegun Obasanjo, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, Chief Ernest Shonekan, Gen. Abulsalami Abubakar, and former President Goodluck Jonathan). The agenda of the meeting was on the present state of the country and way forward. He believed that the protesting youth grew bolder and eventually, violent because of the government's concession to their request. Also present at the meeting were the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and heads of security agencies. 

The President bore his mind in the following statements: “We accepted all the demands and proceeded immediately to scrap SARS and started the process of addressing the other demands." Unfortunately, the protesters refused to call off the protest and engage the Government to address their grievances. Instead, they became emboldened and gradually turned violent,” the president told the former leaders.

Mr Adesina (the Special Adviser to the President, Media and Publicity) did not divulge information on whether or not the president condemned the shooting of peaceful protesters by security officials. Mr Buhari obviously didn't condemn the shooting of protesters in his national broadcast on Thursday.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari condemned the violence that erupted during the protests. This led to some security officers' (police) demise.

It is unfortunate that the initial genuine and well-intended protest of youths in parts of the country against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) was hijacked and misdirected, President Muhammadu Buhari told former Heads of State and Presidents of Nigeria, Friday in Abuja.


During the meeting, the President declared that the Government will not  permit louts and criminals to keep destroying properties. 

He pointed out that SARS was disbanded in accordance to the protesters' request, and they also asked for:

1. The immediate release of all arrested protesters.

2. Justice for deceased victims of police brutality and appropriate compensation for their families.

3. Setting up an independent body to oversee the investigation and prosecution of all reports of Police misconduct within 10 days.

4. Psychological evaluation and re-training of all disbanded SARS officers before they can be re-deployed; and increase in Police salary.

The President declared: "We accepted all the demands and proceeded immediately to scrap SARS and started the process of addressing the other demands. Unfortunately, the protesters refused to call off the protest and engage the Government to address their grievances. Instead, they became emboldened and gradually turned violent.”

He also reaffirmed that: "We will continue to improve good governance through our democratic process including through sustained engagement. We shall also continue to ensure that liberty and freedom, as well as the fundamental rights of all citizens are protected. Here, I want to also reaffirm our commitment to preserving the unity of this country.”

The President appreciated all for their presence and comments, observations and advice. He added that: "Nigerians expect nothing less from responsible statesmen.”

The former leaders commended the President for restoring serenity and order and commended the presidential broadcast of Thursday as detailed and soothing to the country.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo said: "I commend the speech of last night. The nation had been waiting. You made points that I believe need to be commended. Peaceful demonstration is part of democratic practice. The demands of the genuine protesters were accepted, and you are working on implementation. We commend you”.

The former heads of state said that generation of employment and growing the economy including through direct foreign investments were critical to checking youth restiveness. 

Furthermore, they expressed sympathy concerning bereaved families of civilians, policemen and soldiers killed as a result of the violent protest, and reaffirmed the commitment to respect the fundamental rights of citizens, including for peaceful protest as enshrined in the Constitution.

They condemned the divisive and inciting pronouncements of separatists. They went ahead to commend the governor's steps during the #End SARS protest. 

Youths were advised to remain peaceful while requesting for positive change from the government, and encouraged further conversation with the youths and other stakeholders in the country.

Source: Premium Times

0 Comments

Hi thanks for reading, kindly drop a comment