The founder, Ressurection Praise Ministries, Archbishop Samson Benjamin has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to personally address the demands of protesters in the #EndSARS campaign which has rocked some cities in the country in recent times.
He said a presidential directive and speech would go a long way to asuade the grievances of the protesters, and restore peace in cities were protesters have held away.
Recall that protesters had called for an end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police over alleged acts of extra-judicial killings, harassment and police brutality.
Reacting to the protests, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu had disbanded the SARS unit. But the protests had continued unabated in some major cities in the country, leading to deaths and several arrests by the police.
In a statement on Monday, Archbishop Benjamin, who is also founder of the International Foundation for Peace and Conflict Resolution, noted that there was need for the president to directly address the protesters, as this would go a long way to assure them that government was looking into their demands.
Archbishop Benjamin who commended Buhari for the swift reaction to the initial demands of the protesters, also said the submission that government was moving towards further reforms of the Nigeria Police, was a welcome development.
He however, noted that the protests were still ongoing, because the youths had lost confidence in the ability of government to make proclamations and follow it up with actions, drawing attention to the fact that government had on previous occasions banned the activities of SARS, even as he lamented that such previous declarations had yielded no results.
The cleric said among other things, the EndSARS protesters wanted government to compensate families of innocent citizens who had been killed extra-judicially by security operatives, especially the SARS operatives.
He also noted that the protesters wanted the authorities to launch investigations into complaints that had been lodged concerning the activities of rogue SARS operatives.
“Their demands are not out of place. The youths need to know that the government listens to them and respects their views.
“A presidential speech to assure them that their voices have been heard, and that their demands will be addressed will go a long way to percify them and smooth their frayed nerves.
“The president has to show that he is on top of the situation, and that their demands will be addressed.
“It is not enough for politicians to only speak directly to the youths and the people when they want votes. They also need to let the people know that they are always there for them, and that their voices matter in a democracy”, Archbishop Benjamin’s said.