President Muhammadu Buhari said yesterday that efforts were being made to fish out rogue elements in the Nigeria police force.
He also said his Chief of Staff, Prof Ibrahim Gambari, would lead senior government officials to various parts of the country to interface with the traditional rulers and the people, especially youths, on efforts of government to address their demands.
The President, who spoke during a meeting with a delegation of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria, led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Mohammed Sa’ad Abubakar 111 at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said the effort was in compliance with the demands of #EndSARS protesters.
He said the voices of youth had been heard, adding that actions were being taken, in compliance with the demands.
Buhari, who noted that the police would undergo major reform in the areas of welfare, working conditions and code of conduct, said: “We have heard the loud cries of our youth and children, and we are attending to their concerns.
“To succeed in all of this, we would require your support and voice to help amplify the message. Your proximity to the people places you in a unique position to communicate and ensure that our response is targeted and impactful.
“I want to once again thank you for the role you all have played to calm down our youth with wisdom and authority. By instilling hope and keeping the peace, you have rendered the country great service.
“We cannot allow anybody or group to threaten the peace or sabotage these efforts. Strong, transparent efforts are underway to address those rogue elements of the Nigerian Police Force.
“Simultaneously, the Nigerian Police Force will also undergo much needed reform that covers welfare, working conditions, and code of conduct. That will usher in a more professional workforce.”
The President said his Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, would lead senior government officials to various parts of the country and engage with traditional rulers to get their perspective on recent happenings.
He said the reports which would be made available to him, will guide in taking further decisions.
President Buhari urged traditional rulers, whom he described as guardians of the nation’s traditional values and culture, to remain neutral, as that is what significantly conferred on them moral authority and legitimacy.
Buhari commended the traditional rulers for the visit and promised to study some of their recommendations and take appropriate actions.
The President had earlier drawn the attention of the eminent delegation to the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic on the world.
“We find ourselves in very turbulent times, with a global health pandemic that has been incredibly challenging. Economies have been crippled as the response to the pandemic has forced businesses to shut down or devise new means of transacting. For a country like ours, with a large informal economy, our citizens have been particularly hit.”
He noted, however, that his administration has “designed various schemes and taken many measures to soften the impact, despite our own revenue struggles as government,” while recognizing that “more needs to be done to cater to our fellow citizens, not just those in the urban areas but also those in rural areas.”
“I am also fully aware that our strong farming belts have been impacted by floods. While we have seen record levels of farm outputs and increased level of fertilizer utilization, government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and its agencies, is working on how to help bring these farmers some relief,’’ Buhari said.
Admitting the enormity of these challenges and the growing youth population, he declared: “There is no hiding place regarding how we should address insecurity concerns, youth unemployment, job creation, boosting industrialization and preparing for a transition into a digital economy.”
Two traditional rulers from each of the nation’s six geo-political zones attended the meeting.