President Muhammadu Buhari has said his administration recognises the democratic rights of Nigerian youths to peaceful protest.
He however, urged them to beware of anarchists who may hijack their gatherings for selfish motives.
The president stated this when he granted audience to the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, at the State House, Abuja, on Monday during a briefing about the ongoing protest against police brutality and Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the police unit.
Dare, who briefed State House correspondents at the end of the meeting quoted Buhari to have advised the youths to always be on the alert so that miscreants would not take advantage of their genuine intention.
The Minister expressed that the President vowed to implement police reforms, as demands by #EndSARS protesters, some of which includes;
Immediate release of all arrested protesters in Nigeria.
Justice for all deceased victims of police brutality and appropriate compensation for their families.
Setting up an independent body to oversee the investigation & prosecution of all reports of police misconduct (within 10 days).
In line with the new Police Act, Psychological evaluation & retraining (to be confirmed by an independent body) of all disbanded SARS officers before they are redeployed.
Increase Police Salary so they are adequately compensated for protecting lives and properties for citizens.
Mr. President said the youths of this country have spoken and he has heard and he has since gone to work for the youths of our country.
The President promised that he will ensure that the reforms he has promised are met, he will make sure that the reforms are long lasting and that the reforms will deliver for our country a police force that we will be proud of
The Minister expressed;
He appreciates the fact that they have brought the SARS issues to the fore through their peaceful protest.
He recognises the fact that they have called upon the government to do what is necessary and that as the President and a father, he will make sure that the demands as put forward are met.
The President said that as far as he is concerned, it’s important to allow the younger generation to exercise the freedom to protest and make sure that such protest is in a peaceful manner.
He said the Nigerian youth should be on their guard to make sure that elements that would infiltrate and distract them from the very purpose of their protest should be prevented from doing so.
He said that part of the demands that were made is to make sure that those protesting are protected and that any police officer that has in one way or the other attacked any protesters be brought to book.
So the President thinks it’s a fundamental right, he thinks so long as the protest is peaceful and focused.
He believes that the youths of this country have the right to demand for certain things.
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