PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has asked the ENDSARS protesters to respect the rights of other Nigerians when demonstrating.
Buhari said this on Thursday during his address to the nation over the ENDSARS protest in Nigeria.
“The choice to demonstrate peacefully is a fundamental right of citizens as enshrined in Section 40 of our Constitution and other enactments but this right to protest also imposes on the demonstrators the responsibility to respect the rights of other citizens and the necessity to operate within the law,” Buhari said.
The President stated that the government has listened and yielded to the five demands of the protesters resulting in the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
“As a democratic government, we listened to, and carefully evaluated the five-point demands of the protesters. And, having accepted them, we immediately scrapped SARS, and put measures in place to address the other demands of our youth,” he added.
Speaking on the violent attacks that followed the protest, President Buhari said ‘so-called protesters’ have committed atrocities in the name of the ENDSARS protest.
“The result of this is clear to all observers: human lives have been lost, acts of sexual violence have been reported, two major correctional facilities were attacked and convicts freed, public and private properties completely destroyed or vandalised, the sanctity of the Palace of a peace-maker, the Oba of Lagos has been violated,” he said.
“So-called protesters have invaded an International Airport and in the process disrupted the travel plans of fellow Nigerians and our visitors.”
He noted that all these executed in the name of the ENDSARS protests adding that he was deeply pained that innocent lives have been lost.
These tragedies are uncalled for and unnecessary, the president said.
While he rounded off his 12 minutes speech, President Buhari did not speak on the shooting of the protesters at Lekki Toll Gate Tuesday night.