President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday told traditional rulers who visited him at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, that his government was attending to the concerns of #EndSARS protesters.
He therefore, urged them to support his government to address the demands of Nigerian youths.
A delegation of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria, led by the Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alhaji (Dr) Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III, had visited Buhari over the recent EndSARS protest and its aftermath.
A statement by Buhari’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, said that Buhari during the meeting told his visitors that his administration “has heard the loud cries of our youth and children, and we are attending to their concerns.”
He was quoted to have further said “To succeed in all of this, we would require your support and voice to help amplify the message. Your proximity to the people places you in a unique position to communicate and ensure that our response is targeted and impactful.”
According to Buhari, the royal fathers as guardians of traditional values and culture remained most critical in addressing the concerns and should not “compromise their neutrality because this is what significantly confers on you, your moral authority and legitimacy.”
He informed them that his Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, would lead senior government officials to different parts of the country to “directly engage with you as part of this process. He will be reporting back to me on your various perspectives.”
He added, “I want to once again thank you for the role you all have played to calm down our youth with wisdom and authority. By instilling hope and keeping the peace, you have rendered the country great service.
“We cannot allow anybody or group to threaten the peace or sabotage these efforts.”
He maintained that “strong, transparent efforts are underway to address those rogue elements of the Nigerian Police Force.
“Simultaneously, the Nigerian Police Force will also undergo much needed reform that covers welfare, working conditions, and code of conduct. That will usher in a more professional workforce.”
Also speaking on the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic in the world, Buhari told the monarchs, “We find ourselves in very turbulent times, with a global health pandemic that has been incredibly challenging. Economies have been crippled as the response to the pandemic has forced businesses to shut down or devise new means of transacting.
“For a country like ours, with a large informal economy, our citizens have been particularly hit.”
He, however, said that his government had “designed various schemes and taken many measures to soften the impact, despite our own revenue struggles as government.”