President Muhammadu Buhari has again appealed to #EndSARS protesters to resist the temptation of being used by some subversive elements to cause chaos with the aim of truncating the nation’s nascent democracy.
The president made the appeal in a national broadcast on Thursday, October 22.
He enjoined the protesters to take advantage of the various initiatives of his administration designed to make their lives better and more meaningful.
According to Buhari, doing otherwise will amount to undermining national security as well as law and order.
He said under no circumstances would this be tolerated.
“I, therefore, call on our youths to discontinue the street protests and constructively engage the government in finding solutions.
”Your voice has been heard loud and we are responding.
”And I call on all Nigerians to go about their normal businesses, and enjoin security agencies to protect lives and properties of all law-abiding citizens without doing harm to those they are meant to protect,” he said.
The president also paid tributes to officers of the Nigeria Police Force who died in the line of duty.
He expressed appreciation to governors as well as traditional and religious leaders who had been appealing for calm and restraint.
“I also thank youth leaders who have restrained their followers from taking the law into their hands,’’ he added.
Buhari reassured that his administration would continue to respect all democratic rights and civil liberties of the people.
He, however, warned that the government would not allow anybody or groups to disrupt the peace of the nation.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army on Thursday, October 22, implored Nigerians to await the outcome of an ongoing investigation into the Tuesday shooting of #EndSARS protesters by soldiers at Lekki, Lagos.
Various footages on social media depicted soldiers firing at the demonstration ground where protesters had gathered to demand police reforms.
However, the Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj. Gen. John Enenche, responded to questions about the involvement of the Nigerian Army.
Enenche stated that his statement may prejudice the findings of the Commission of Inquiry set up by the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
He described reports on the killing of the protesters by the soldiers as mere allegations; noting that some military analysts had dismissed as untrue; claims that the Nigerian Army were responsible for the killings.
The Nigerian Army media coordinator explained that the military was involved in internal security operations codenamed, ‘Operation MESA,’ in nine states, but declined to disclose further details on the joint security task force.