The President , Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd ), on Thursday claimed that his regime ’ s decision to accept the demands made by the youth that protested against the disbanded Special Anti – Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police Force emboldened them and they gradually became violent .
Buhari ’ s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity , Femi Adesina , in a statement titled ‘How # EndSARS protest was hijacked , misdirected , President Buhari tells former Heads of State ,’ quoted the President as speaking during a virtual meeting he had with former Nigerian leaders .
The President was quoted to have said , “ We accepted all the demands and proceeded immediately to scrap SARS and started the process of addressing the other demands .
“ Unfortunately , the protesters refused to call off the protest and engage the government to address their grievances . Instead, they became emboldened and gradually turned violent .”
Adesina further quoted Buhari as expressing concern that , in the mayhem that ensued , many lives had been lost , while a number of public and private properties were completely destroyed or vandalised.
The presidential aide stated that the President reiterated his pledge to Nigerians in a nationwide broadcast on Thursday that “ we will continue to improve good governance through our democratic process , including through sustained engagement .
“ We shall also continue to ensure that liberty and freedom , as well as the fundamental rights of all citizens are protected . Here , I want to also reaffirm our commitment to preserving the unity of this country .”
According to Adesina , Buhari told his predecessors that it was unfortunate that the initial genuine and well – intended protest of the youths was “ hijacked and misdirected . ”