After days of silence over the ongoing crisis and the alleged killing of unarmed protesters that trailed the #EndSARS protests; President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday finally addressed the nation with a tough message to neighbours and the international community.
The President in the broadcast urged the #EndSARS protesters to stand down. In addition, he urged other countries not to rush to judgement on news coming out of Nigeria.
“To our neighbours in particular, and members of the international community; many of whom have expressed concern about the ongoing development in Nigeria, we thank you and urge you all to seek to know all the facts available before taking a position or rushing to judgement and making hasty pronouncements.
“In the circumstances, I would like to appeal to protesters to note and take advantage of the various well-thought-out initiatives of this administration designed to make their lives better and more meaningful.”
Further, Buhari said that the administration’s concession on the demands of the protesters was misconstrued as weakness.
“Sadly, the promptness with which we have acted seemed to have been misconstrued as a sign of weakness and twisted by some for their selfish unpatriotic interests.”
The ongoing #EndSARS protests and agitations against police brutality have caused global outrage across the world; with visuals showing armed forces allegedly brutalizing unarmed civilians. Nevertheless, the issue of fake news has also overshadowed some of the news coming out of protest grounds; particularly the encounter between the Nigerian Army and protesters at Lekki on Tuesday.
Equally important, hoodlums and thugs have capitalized on the collective angst to embark on a looting spree. Many businesses as well as public and private properties have been looted; while a number of police stations have also been attacked.