Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo has reacted to the ongoing nationwide protest against the extrajudicial activities of the now-defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
KanyiDaily had reported that there is an ongoing #EndSARS protest across the country against the SARS tactical unit of the Nigerian Police Force over its brutality, illegal arrest, extortion, extra-judicial killings, among others.
Speaking on Monday when he visited Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ooni of Ife, at his palace in Ile-Ife, Osun state, Obasanjo described the #EndSARS protest as the product of an extensive agitation by the Nigerian youth.
Obasanjo advised President Muhammadu Buhari to use the endSARS protest as an opportunity to let Nigerian youths know that he understood their plights as a father.
The former president said Buhari must accommodate and listen to the youths who are clamouring for a better life in the country.
“More than 65 percent of our population are between the ages of 18 and 30. They are not only struggling to acquire education, they are also aspiring for the best that life can offer them.
“Some of them didn’t even get educated while those who are educated are getting frustrated because of lack of opportunities. We must realize that the lid on the boiling steam would have to be removed.
“But, I believe that there are windows of opportunity which the government can explore to show that it cares about the people’s welfare, especially the youths, as the father of the country and particularly, as the father of the youth.
“Fortunately, the president has children and he knows how youths behave. I believe that the opportunities can still be taken to let the youths know that he, as a father, understands their plight and his government understands their plight and he is ready to make life better for them.”
The Ooni, also speaking, appealed to the EndSARS protesters to retreat and give peace a chance, adding that their action was a clear message to the government.
“If you look at the #EndSARS protest, you will see that our youths have what it takes to rule the country,” he said.
“Since day one, they have shown leadership, accountability, and a huge sense of responsibility which have sent a clear message to the government.
“Every day at 11:50 pm, they displayed their financial update, and to me, I’m highly amazed by their sense of accountability.
“As a youth leader myself, I am proud that we all have communicated our ideas and it is heartwarming that we have been heard.
“Dear youths, it is time to retreat so as to prevent those with ulterior motives from hijacking the peaceful message of peace.
“The whole world is aware of our peaceful conduct and we must not let some bad elements tarnish this enviable integrity.
“Once again, I wish to urge our youths to stop the protest, for now, and give peace a chance. This will prevent the government from using force.”
Meanwhile, National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu has appealed to has appealed to Nigerian youths to call off their #EndSARS protest and give peace a chance.