UPDATED: I won’t allow a repeat of #EndSARS protests – Buhari

By Bolaji Ogundele, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerians that his administration would do everything to prevent a repeat of the recent #EndSARS protest.

The President gave the assurance during the National Security Council (NSC) meeting held at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja on Tuesday.

Briefing State House Correspondents on the proceedings from the meeting, the Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Dingyadi, said President Buhari also stated that Nigerians, especially the youth, would be carried along by the administration in issues concerning maintenance of peace in the country.

He said the Council expressed concerns over the deplorable security situation in the northern part of the country and agreed it must be dealt with more decisively, employing proactive methods.

According to him, the Council also emphasised the need to give more attention to the police, especially concerning making the agency properly equipped and prepared to deliver its statutory duties.

“The meeting noted with concern the increasing cases of armed banditry particularly in the north west and north eastern part of the country. 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.

“The meeting thanked the president for the concern which he has shown in repositioning the police to perform more effectively.

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“In his concluding remarks, Mr. President thanked members for the efforts they are making in maintain peace and assured members that he will do whatever it takes to support security agencies in providing peace in the country.

“Mr. President assured Nigerians that he will do whatever it takes to ensure the repeat of #ENDSARS protests does not occur in Nigeria again.

“Mr. President reassured 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,” he said.

He explained that in vowing to do everything within his power to prevent a reoccurrence of the protests, the president assured that he will carry all stakeholders, including the youth, along in the process of maintaining peace in the country.

Asked whether it would include a crackdown on potential protesters, the minister replied: “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.

“On decisive action means, it’s an all-inclusive action that is going to be taken to ensure that in terms of technology, equipment we can face these challenges head-on,” he said.