President Muhammadu Buhari has finally broken his silence on the report of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry Report on Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses and other Matters.
The President has, however, disclosed that the Federal Government will not interfere, but will await the steps taken by states before taking action on the report.
Buhari made this known on Thursday, November 18, 2021 during a meeting with the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken. Further, he revealed that a number of state governments are involved; adding that the states have issued different terms of reference to the probe panels.
“We at the Federal have to wait for the steps taken by the states and we have to allow the system to work. We can’t impose ideas on them. Federal Government has to wait for the reaction of the states,” Buhari stated.
1st News reports that the findings of the Lagos judicial panel had indicted the Nigerian Army which it stated shot at and killed a number of protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate on October 20, 2020.
Meanwhile, Buhari also spoke on the recent removal of Nigeria from a watchlist of countries violating religious freedom; with the president commending the US on the decision. He added that Nigeria assures freedom of worship and that there is no discrimination against people based on their faith.
Buhari and Blinken discussed US-Nigeria cooperation on the shared priorities of climate and the COVID-19 pandemic; including the US support for Nigeria’s renewable energy sector and the delivery of nearly eight million Pfizer and Moderna vaccine doses provided by the United States. Both men equally noted the importance of strengthening democracy in West Africa; as well as reinforcing the democratic principles of a free press and digital freedom; peaceful protest and dissent, as well as respect for human rights.
In addition, they discussed Nigeria’s security challenges and efforts to protect civilians.
The US Secretary of State reaffirmed with President Buhari the strong partnership between the United States and Nigeria; which, he stated, is founded upon shared democratic ideals and a spirit of transparency and cooperation.
The foregoing was disclosed in a statement released by Ned Price, spokesperson for the US Secretary of State.