Persons planning public protests across the country to mark the first anniversary of the #EndSARS have been urged by the National Economic Council (NEC) to think of other legitimate means of engagement.
According to an advisory on public protests released on Friday, October 15, by the head of the NEC, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the current security situation in Nigeria does not support the move, Channels TV reports.
Moreover, Osinbajo noted that such protests could give rise to another round of violence as they might be hijacked by thugs and hoodlums as in the October 2020 experience.
Added to this, the council reminded the organisers of the protest that the federal government has already taken the following steps to address the grievances that led to the 2020 incident, hence the planned action is not unnecessary:
- The disbandment of SARS
- Broad police reforms
- establishment of judicial panels of inquiries to investigate allegations of human rights violations by members of the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies
- Recommendations of panels which are already at various stages of implementation, including the setup of Victims Compensation Funds from which several victims have received payments of sums awarded to them by the panels
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5. Prosecution of police personnel indicted by the panels.
In a statement made available to Legit.ng, the NEC said:
"These are commendable actions that ought to be taken to a logical conclusion in a peaceful atmosphere.
"Organisers of the planned protests should explore the various channels of communication with governments at various levels to advance their positions and avert the breakdown of law and order that may result from such public protests."
EndSARS protest was to remove me from office, Buhari claims
Meanwhile, in what would surprise many Nigerians, President Muhammadu Buhari had raised allegations against Nigerians who participated in the #EndSARS protest.
He said the protest was aimed at removing him from office.
Buhari said that those who participated in the protest have made Nigeria unattractive to investors. He also blamed the protest on the dwindling inflow of foreign direct investment to the country.
He was asked how he could improve foreign direct investment in Nigeria.