Home » #Endsars, Articles, Columnists, Headlines, Muhammadu Buhari (1983-85), NNP Columnists, P, Presidency » #EndSARS: The Proper Address Buhari Should Have Given – By Prof. Phil Alalibo

#EndSARS: The Proper Address Buhari Should Have Given – By Prof. Phil Alalibo

Fellow Nigerians,

My heart bleeds to see what is happening in our country. The killing of young peaceful demonstrators at Lekki Toll Gates of Lagos State on October 20, 2020, is completely unacceptable. These young Nigerians were simply exercising their democratic rights in a peaceful manner.

My government has instituted an immediate and complete investigation to bring those responsible to justice. I have ordered the Army Chief to report to me by Oct. 30 with a full report and course of action. The infiltration of paid thugs into these peaceful protests will be investigated as well and perpetrators will be severely punished.

The youths have spoken and government must pay attention and do everything in its power to meet their needs. Today, I declare that Nigeria has failed the youth. Our country cannot continue on this path of destruction, we cannot continue to have youths on the streets after graduation.

We cannot continue to have massive unemployment, police brutality for simple reasons as having a laptop or having an Apple phone. Crime and insecurity are the order of the day. Thugs hired by politicians have better lives than our hardworking youths. You have my word that I am working tirelessly to change this trend in the shortest possible time. As you already know, I have disbanded SARS as you demanded.

I also want to apologise that I called Nigerian youths “lazy.” This was a mistake and I now regret it. I believe we, your leaders, are the lazy ones because we did not work hard for you to have a bright future like your peers in Ghana, Togo and other countries, all of whom have access to uninterrupted education, electricity and things you crave for like broad band.

I owe you further apology as president on behalf of my predecessors for years of chronic neglect. In this vein, I apologise on behalf of Gen. Gowon, on behalf of Gen. Mohammed, may his soul rest in peace, on behalf of Gen. Obasanjo, thrice, on behalf of President Shagari, may his soul rest in peace, on behalf of Gen. Babangida, on behalf of Chief Shonekan, on behalf of Gen. Abacha, may his soul…well, we’ll leave that to Allah, on behalf of President Yar’Adua, may his soul rest in peace, and on behalf of President Jonathan. I admit that your welfare has not been catered for by the Nigerian state through successive governments.

Today, I ordered deep structural and wage reforms. As part of these reforms, ministers, legislators, the president and vice will take a 50% pay cut. This is permanent. These sacrifices will pay off as we seek to address the injustices of the past.

At the same time, I have ordered a serious review of salary structures with a view to improving the welfare of our security forces. I have also asked my minister of labour, Dr. Chris Ngige, to begin the process of job creation in massive numbers and remittance of monthly stipend to  youths who register with the ministry.

I also admit that we have not led by example. You have been watching us carefully and you have seen senators sleeping in the chambers and yet earn N28 million per month. You have seen senators being given brand new SUVs, while you take okada or trek.

You have seen judges in some states being gifted brand new BMW cars bought with taxpayers’ money, while those same governors have not paid pensioners’ benefits for years. Some of these pensioners are your parents and grand parents who attend to your welfare.

You see 128 million naira budgeted for entertainment in Aso Rock, while some of you are not guaranteed even one meal per day. You see ministers and managing directors in government steal billions in oil money, while you beg for just minimum wage. I assure you, this trend will change.

We have realized that the youths have the most lethal weapon at their disposal, one that even the military with all its tanks and artilleries does not possess, and that is their mobile phones that give them access to information and platforms that some of us don’t know how to use.

While we hold political power, this generation has a greater power that is beyond our reach, that is the power of social media, the power of information which they have used to draw attention to their issues. Because this power is so great, we have no choice, but to stand aside lest we be crushed.

The #EndSARS protests have now gone viral, celebrities like Beyoncé, Alicia keys, Davido, our own Genevieve Nnaji have lend their voices to the struggle. Even famous footballers, business men and woman have sent their support to the youths and the struggle for a better Nigeria. One of the Super Eagles strikers who has served our country well on the football pitch, Odion Ighalo, voiced strong opinion against police brutality and injustice.

It is all over the international news and I saw demonstrations in London, Toronto, US and around the world supporting the struggle against police brutality and the call for justice. You have found a way to inform us, and we are not deaf, we have heard.

We will take every action to live up to our responsibilities to you. I plead with you to give us four weeks, until Nov. 30, to consider and implement your demands. In the meantime, I urge all of you to be peaceful and law abiding, together, we shall overcome.

I extend my profound condolences to the families of all the victims of police brutality and to those families that lost loved ones. I assure you that government will get in touch with the concerned families to discuss their needs.

Thank you all. Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!

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Posted by on Oct 27 2020. Filed under #Endsars, Articles, Columnists, Headlines, Muhammadu Buhari (1983-85), NNP Columnists, P, Presidency. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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