Bolaji Ogundele, Abuja
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday said the Federal Government will carry youths along in policy formulation and implementation to prevent a recurrence of the issues that led to the #EndSARS protests.
He spoke during the National Security Council (NSC) meeting held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Dingyadi, briefed correspondents on the deliberations.
According to him, the Council is concerned about the worsening security situation in the North and emphasised the need to better equip the police.
“The meeting note with concern the increasing cases of armed banditry, particularly in the Northwest and Northeast.
‘The meeting agreed to be more proactive in dealing with the situation in a more decisive manner.
“The meeting noted the need to pay greater attention to the police in the discharge of its functions to maintain peace in the country, in the areas of equipment and modern technology.
“Mr. President assured Nigerians that he will do whatever it takes to ensure the repeat of ENDSARS protests does not occur in Nigeria again.
“He reassured them that all stakeholders will be involved in the process of maintaining peace in the country, particularly the youth, community leaders, traditional rulers, politicians, public servants, religious leaders and others.
“The Federal Government will continue to maintain its bureaucratic, humane and just postures in handling security matters in the country,” Dingyadi said.
Asked whether the Federal Government plans a crackdown on protests, the minister said: “On the issue of #EndSARS that you have raised, what we are saying is that government will continue to dialogue.
“It will continue to listen and will continue to carry all stakeholders along in ensuring that there is no repeat of what happened that destroyed a lot of properties, public and private, individuals in this country.”
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha, Chief of Staff to the President Ibrahim Gambari and Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami (SAN) were at the meeting.
Ministers of Defense Maj. Gen. Bashir Salihi Magashi (Rtd.); Interior, Rauf Aregbesola; Foreign Affairs Geoffery Onyeama and the Police Affairs Muhammad Dingyadi were also present.
Service chiefs in attendance included the Chief of Defense Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; Chief of Air Staff Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar; Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Adamu; Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) Ahmed Rafa’i Abubakar and the Director-General of the Directorate of State Services (DSS) Yusuf Magaji Bichi.