President Muhammadu Buhari has said that many Nigerians took the scrapping of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police Force as a weakness by his administration.
Buhari, who made the comment on Thursday night while addressing citizens, failed to speak about the massacre of peaceful protesters in the Lekki Toll Gate area of Lagos on Tuesday by personnel of the Nigerian Army.
Nigerians across the country had for almost two weeks poured out to the streets to demand an end to police brutality and state repression.
Rather than listen to their demands, the government unleashed security operatives and thugs on peaceful demonstrators, hacking many of them to death in the process.
Ahead of his address to citizens on Thursday, some Nigerians were hopeful that Buhari will condemn the killing of innocent citizens demanding their legitimate rights but throughout the broadcast, the President refrained from showing empathy, instead telling the people that his government will no longer tolerate the breakdown of order in the country.
He said, “Sadly, the promptness with which we have acted seemed to have been misconstrued as a sign of weakness and twisted by some for their selfish unpatriotic interests.
“The result of this is clear to all observers: human lives have been lost; acts of sexual violence have been reported; two major correctional facilities were attacked and convicts freed; public and private properties completely destroyed or vandalised.
“The sanctity of the palace of a peace-maker, the Oba of Lagos has been violated. So-called protesters have invaded an international airport and in the process disrupted the travel plans of fellow Nigerians and our visitors.
“All these executed in the name of the ENDSARS protests. I am indeed deeply pained that innocent lives have been lost. These tragedies are uncalled for and unnecessary.”