Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Friday commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s response to the #EndSARS protest during his nationwide address to Nigerians.
The president had said in his address to Nigerians on the social unrest in the country on Thursday night that the Federal Government was working on the implementation of the #EndSARS campaigners’ five-point demand.
Obasanjo, according to a statement issued by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Femi Adesina, told President Buhari at a meeting of the country’s leaders that he “made points that should be commended.”
The ex-president said: “I commend the speech of last (Thursday) night. The nation had been waiting. You made points that I believe need to be commended. Peaceful demonstration is part of democratic practice. The demands of the genuine protesters were accepted, and you are working on implementation. We commend you.”
Obasanjo had earlier in the week urged President Buhari to restrain the military and other security forces from using brute force to quell protests.
The ex-president, who was reacting to the shooting of the protesters by the military in the Lekki area of Lagos, said the president and his lieutenants didn’t exhaust all avenues before deploying soldiers against the harmless protesters.
He warned that killing of protesters only worsens the crisis and makes dialogue impossible.
“The shooting and murder of unarmed protesters, no matter the level of provocation, has never been effective in suppressing public anger and frustration. Instead, such actions only reinforce the anger and frustration of the populace and close the window of dialogue and peaceful resolution.
“It is clear that Mr. President and his lieutenants did not exhaust the opportunities for dialogue with the protesters before resorting to the use of force,” Obasanjo stated at the time.
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