Buhari pledges to ensure EndSARS protest does not reoccur
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday assured Nigerians that he would do whatever it takes to ensure that the EndSARS protest does not repeat itself.
Muhammad Dingyadi, minister of police affairs, disclosed this while briefing State House Correspondents after a quarterly security meeting presided over by President Buhari.
He said the president reassured citizens that all stakeholders would be involved in the process of maintaining peace in the country, particularly the youths, community leaders, traditional rulers, politicians, public servants, and religious leaders.
He also assured that the Federal Government would continue to maintain its bureaucratic, humane and just postures in handling security matters in the country.
“On the issue of EndSARS that you have raised, what we are saying is that government will continue to dialogue, it will continue to listen and will continue to carry all stakeholders along in ensuring that there is no repeat of what happened that destroyed a lot of properties, public and private, individuals in this country,” Dingyadi said.
The EndSARS protest, which was intended to draw attention to mindless police brutality across the country, resulted in deaths of innocent persons and destruction of public and private assets.
It also heightened the trust deficit between the government and the citizens and resulted in over N1 trillion loss to the economy.
The minister expressed concern about the increasing cases of armed banditry, particularly in the North-west and North-eastern parts of the country, even as he said government would be more proactive in dealing with the situation in a more decisive manner.
He said the meeting resolved to pay greater attention to the police in the discharge of its functions to maintain peace in the country – in the areas of equipment and modern technology.
“On decisive action means, it’s an all-inclusive action that is going to be taken to ensure that in terms of technology, equipment we can face these challenges head on,” he said.
Dingyadi said the bandits terrorising parts of the country have already been degraded, “so there is no way they will resuscitate themselves and take over”.
“I think they have already been degraded, what they are doing is just hit-and-run kind of tactics. So, we don’t see any sign of them coming to take over or overpower our security. I think they have been well degraded and they are just trying to show their presence in a very cowardly manner,” he said.
The minister in addressing concerns over poor police presence on the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway debunked claims that policemen have abandoned the road.
“That place is being monitored 24 hours. There are police and the army who are on a kind of joint patrol on 24-hour basis. We also have our own separate police formation that is also on that road. I think it is an overstatement to say that that place is not being secured. People are still following it.
“We agree that there have been cases of attacks but these are normal things these people do whenever they have opportunity and we are equal to the task,” he said.
He assured that the police and security personnel will continue to monitor the road and all other places to ensure that peace is to a very large extent maintained in the area.
“Even this morning, I assured the Council that the police are very much on their duty posts unlike what people are saying. We receive daily situation reports from across the states and that is a good indicator that the police are very much on their duty posts, they are also on the road and they are working 24 hours,” he said.
The minister, however, noted that the police lack enough personnel and equipment to enable them be everywhere.
He charged members of the public against payment of ransom to kidnappers and terrorists.
“You see, we always encourage people to report these cases to the police because the moment you take it upon yourself and continue to pay ransom, this will continue to occur. But if you report to the police, they will continue to pursue these people and in most cases we succeed in freeing these victims,” he said.