President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR

Enough of mistreatment of innocent Nigerians, Buhari tells Security

*President Muhammadu Buhari says no one who is obeying the law should be harassed or brutalised by law enforcement agencies

*Federal Government now wants to hear concrete and practical ideas from the youth

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

While urging the country’s security agencies to stop violent force against innocent citizens, President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed opposition to the wrongful application of violent force against any innocent, law-abiding persons, particularly young citizens.

President Buhari, in his message at the maiden National Youth Day celebration at the event held in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, FCT, Sunday, November 1, 2020, assured that he would not lift his hand to stop or suppress the Nigerian youths.

It was gathered in line with the recent anti-Police protests in the country, leading to the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Buhari, represented by Muhammad Bello, Honourable minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), told the gathering that the pleas of Nigerian youths had been heard by his administration.

He stated: “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 brutalised by law enforcement agencies.

“It is because of my abiding belief in the people’s constitutional rights that we moved with dispatch to abolish SARS and to consider other reforms that will enhance the quality of law enforcement and improve the relationship between the police and public which is a pre-requisite in a just society.

“To allow protests is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of strength and belief in democracy, and faith in the innate goodness of our people.”

The President stressed this shows confidence in the ability of his administration to work with the people toward a reasonable and practical resolution to any challenge.”

He, however, urged the youth to end their street protests and not be afraid to negotiate with government.

They should participate in meaningful discussions aimed at comprehensive reforms to end all forms of police brutality against Nigerians, said Buhari.

According to him, the Federal Government ‘‘now wants to hear concrete and practical ideas,’’ from the youth, while acknowledging their constitutional right to peaceful protests.

He added: “You must realise 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 added: “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 youth, you have a nation and a future to build. My government will always be your faithful partner in this essential and patriotic endeavour.”

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