The details of President Muhammadu Buhari Friday, October 23, emergency meeting with past Heads of State has been revealed.
Recall that we had earlier reported that the main objective of the virtual meeting was unknown.
Information emerging has revealed that President Buhari addressed the former heads of state over the #EndSARS protests that turned violent across the country.
The president told the former leaders 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.
This was revealed in a statement released by the president’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adeshina.
During the meeting, President Buhari reportedly reiterated that its administration will not fold its arms and allow miscreants and criminals continue to perpetrate acts of hooliganism in the country.
Present at the meeting were past leaders such as Gen. Yakubu Gowon, President Olusegun Obasanjo, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, Chief Ernest Shonekan, Gen. Abulsalami Abubakar, and former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The president recounted the initial concessions made by his administration on the demands of youths protesting against the excesses of some members of the SARS. He recalled that the youths had demanded that the squad be disbanded, and further articulated the additional demands, including:
-The immediate release of all arrested protesters.
-‘Justice for deceased victims of police brutality and appropriate compensation for their families.
-‘Setting up an independent body to oversee the investigation and prosecution of all reports of Police misconduct within 10 days.
-‘Psychological evaluation and re-training of all disbanded SARS officers before they can be re-deployed; and increase in police salary.
The president said his administration accepted all the demands of the protesters but they refused to stop the protest.
His words: ”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.”
President Buhari expressed concern that in the mayhem that ensued, many lives have been lost, a number of public and private properties completely destroyed or vandalized. He thanked the former heads of state for attending the meeting and their invaluable comments, observations and advice, adding that ”Nigerians expect nothing less from responsible statesmen.”
The former leaders commended President Buhari for steps taken so far to restore calm and order to the country. 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.
Post Views: 761