President Muhammadu Buhari announced that protests cannot last indefinitely and has called on youths to dialogue with the government and engage in comprehensive reforms.
This was disclosed by the media aide to the Presidency, Garba Shehu, after the President, represented by the FCT Minister, Muhammad Bello, spoke in his message at the maiden National Youth Day celebration, observed on November 1.
President Muhammadu Buhari Sunday in Abuja appealed to Nigerian youths to end street protests and participate in meaningful discussions with government aimed at comprehensive reforms to end all forms of police brutality against Nigerians.
— Garba Shehu (@GarShehu) November 1, 2020
What you should know
The month of October saw Nigerians engage in anti-police brutality protests during the #EndSARS protests, which drew international attention to issues of extortion, murder, assault, and many other civil rights violations committed by Nigerian security operatives on young Nigerians.
The President said the FG is prepared to listen to concrete and practical ideas from the Nigerian youth and also acknowledged their constitutional right to peaceful protests.
He said, “You must realize that protests cannot last indefinitely. My government will not lift a hand to stop or suppress you.
“However, the fact of the matter is that other forces and actors will seek to take over your protests that they may redirect them in ways you did not intend and perhaps do not agree with.
”Every successful protest movement the world over has understood that there comes a time when activity must move from the street to the negotiation table. That time for you has come. Do not be afraid of this reality. You should welcome it.”
The President said too many lives have been lost and it is an opportunity to move Nigeria to a much more accountable society.
“It is important that we all strive to use this moment constructively. Too many people have already sacrificed too dearly. It is our duty to use this fateful situation to move ourselves to a more just and caring society.
”As a youth, you have a nation and a future to build. My government will always be your faithful partner in this essential and patriotic endeavor.
Explore Data on the Nairametrics Research Website
“No one who is obeying the law, whether they are in line waiting for a taxi or in a peaceful protest line, should be harassed or brutalized by law enforcement agencies,” he said.