President Muhammadu Buhari Sunday in Abuja appealed to Nigerian youths to end street protests and participate in meaningful discussions with government aimed at comprehensive reforms to end all forms of police brutality against Nigerians.
The President spoke in his message to the maiden National Youth Day celebration, observed on November 1, coinciding with the African Youth Day celebration.
Against the backdrop of the recent protests against police brutality in the country, leading to the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), President Buhari, who was represented by the FCT Minister, Muhammad Bello, told the gathering that the pleas of Nigerian youths have been heard by his administration.
He added that the Federal Government ‘‘now wants to hear concrete and practical ideas,’’ from the youths, while acknowledging their constitutional right to peaceful protests.
”You must realize that protests cannot last indefinitely. My government will not lift a hand to stop or suppress you.
”However, the fact of the matter is that other forces and actors will seek to take over your protests that they may redirect them in ways you did not intend and perhaps do not agree with.
”Every successful protest movement the world over has understood that there comes a time when activity must move from the street to the negotiation table. That time for you has come. Do not be afraid of this reality. You should welcome it.
”It is important that we all strive to use this moment constructively. Too many people have already sacrificed too dearly. It is our duty to use this fateful situation to move ourselves to a more just and caring society.
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