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President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday reaffirmed that his administration recognizes the democratic rights of the Nigerian youths to peaceful protests.
Buhari who urged the youths to beware of anarchists who may hijack their gatherings for selfish motives stated this when he received the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, at the State House, Abuja, on Monday.
Briefing the State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, the minister said Buhari has advised the youths to always be on alert so that miscreants would not take advantage of their genuine intention.
‘Firstly he said, he recognizes their democratic rights to protest.’
‘Secondly, he made an appeal that this protest wherever held should be done in a peaceful manner.’
‘And thirdly, he said the Nigerian youth should be on their guard to make sure that elements that would infiltrate and distract them from the very purpose of their protest should be prevented from doing so,’’ he said.
The minister, who disclosed that he updated the president on developments concerning the End SARS demonstrations across the country, said the President assured the youths that their five-point demands would be implemented.
According to him, plans are on to implement long-lasting reforms that will give birth to a new Police Force that the country will be proud of.
He said: ‘The President assured me that the demands of the protesters are being met in a timely fashion, some have been met already and the process to meet others is on.’
‘So, he says he has accepted their demands and government is already responding at various levels.’
‘The president said the youth of this country have spoken, he has heard and he has since gone to work for the youth of our country; not only as a President but as a father.’
‘Indeed, he said, he is a father to this generation of our youth and his desire is to see that they are well protected, that they live in a country where they enjoy their freedoms and they do not suffer from any form of Police brutality.’
‘The President promised that he will ensure that the reforms as promised are met and he will make sure that they are long-lasting and that the reforms will deliver for our country a Police Force that we will be proud of.’
Dare further appealed to the youth to end their protests and give room for the government to address their demands.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK