The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Monday, told Nigerian youths who have been protesting under the auspices of #EndSARS that it is in their interest to keep the peace.
He said his own generation “is on the last lap, we are exiting.”
According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the President spoke while receiving in audience the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Amina Mohammed, Nigeria’s former Minister of Environment, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The statement was titled, “It’s in the interest of our youths to keep the peace, says President Buhari.”
Speaking specifically on the recent #EndSARS protests and the aftermath destruction of public and private property, the President was quoted as saying that, “Our own generation is on the last lap, we are exiting.
“It is in the interest of the youth to keep the peace. They want jobs, infrastructure, and development.
“I have sent a team led by the Chief of Staff (Prof Ibrahim Gambari) to go round the country, talk to traditional rulers, who will then talk to the youth. The views of the youth have been heard.”
Buhari was also quoted to have said that his regime inherited severe infrastructural deficits.
He said that was what his regime was working hard to correct and that it is doing its best within the limits of the available resources.
“That (infrastructural deficit) is what we are fighting to correct. We can’t just sit, fold our hands, and do nothing. We are doing our best within the limits of resources,” he said.
The President was also said to have rued the fact that COVID-19 has shrunk the global economy, noting that “this is something you can’t see, smell, or hear,” but which has wrought devastation on lives and livelihoods around the world.
On climate change, he said Nigeria was concerned about the recharge of Lake Chad, which has great implications on security, irregular migration, and livelihoods.
The Deputy Secretary-General was quoted as telling the President that she was on a courtesy call with her team to flag interest in challenges that concern the UN, particularly COVID-19, climate change, security, and humanitarian responses to the diverse challenges.