Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has commended President Buhari’s nationwide address on EndSARS protests.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, made this known in a statement on the virtual meeting held between President Buhari and former head of states at the State House today Friday.
Mr. Adesina quoted Chief Obasanjo saying, ”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.”
According to the statement, President Buhari informed the former Head of States that despite the good intention of youths protesting against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), the genuine agitation was hijacked and misdirected.
The President said his government was quick at accepting all the demands of the protesters and proceeded by scrapping SARS while starting the process of addressing other demands.
The President said, ”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.”
Buhari expressed his concern over the loss lives and properties as a result of the violence that marred the good intentioned protests.
The statement said, “The former heads of state were unanimous in their view that generation of employment and growing the economy including through direct foreign investments were critical to checking youth restiveness.
“They also expressed their condolences to the 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.
“The former Heads of State also condemned the divisive and inciting pronouncements of separatists and were of the opinion that such acts should be stopped.
“Equally, the former Leaders commended the actions taken by Governors to address the demands of the ENDSARS protesters and their efforts to check the excesses of those who perpetrated violent acts and conduct.
“Finally, they called on youths to pursue peaceful means, in seeking redress through engagement with Government and encouraged further conversation with the youths and other stakeholders in the country.”