President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday told former Heads of State and Presidents of Nigeria that the initial genuine and well-intended protests of youth in some parts of the country against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) was hijacked and misdirected.
In a virtual meeting with the former leaders, the president said government would not fold its arms and allow miscreants and criminals continue to perpetrate acts of hooliganism in the country.
At the meeting were all living past leaders, including General Yakubu Gowon (rtd), President Olusegun Obasanjo, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (rtd), Chief Ernest Shonekan, General Abulsalami Abubakar (rtd), and former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The president recounted the initial concessions made by his administration on the demands of youth protesting against the excesses of some members of the SARS.
He said the youth had demanded that the squad be disbanded, and further articulated the additional demands, including: The immediate release of all arrested protesters; Justice for deceased victims of police brutality and appropriate compensation for their families; Setting up an independent body to oversee the investigation and prosecution of all reports of Police misconduct within 10 days; and Psychological evaluation and re-training of all disbanded SARS officers before they can be re-deployed; and increase in Police salary.”