We’re addressing concerns of youths, Buhari reassures Sultan, others
•Vows police reform, sanction for rogue cops
•Orders Gambari to engage with stakeholders
President Muhammadu Buhari, has again, reassured Nigerians that his administration was addressing concerns of youths in the aftermath of the recent protests across the federation.
Addressing the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria led by Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, yesterday at the State House, Abuja, the President stated: “We have heard the loud cries of our youths and children, and we are attending to their concerns.”
He went on: “To succeed in all of this, we would require your support (monarchs) 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 impactful.”
Describing their role as “guardians of our traditional values and culture”, Buhari urged the visitors not to compromise their neutrality “because this is what significantly confers on you, your moral authority and legitimacy.”He assured the royal fathers to work with their counsel with a view to containing the insecurity in the country.
The President added: “I want to once again thank you for the role you all have played to calm down our youths with wisdom and authority. By instilling hope and keeping the peace, you have rendered the country great service.”
While warning that “we cannot allow anybody or group to threaten the peace or sabotage these efforts”, Buhari restated that “strong, transparent efforts are underway to address those rogue elements of the Nigerian Police Force. Simultaneously, the force will also undergo much needed reform that covers welfare, working conditions and code of conduct. That will usher in a more professional workforce.”
CONSEQUENTLY, he directed his Chief of Staff, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, to lead a high-profile delegation across the federation to engage with youths and relevant stakeholders in relation to their grievances. He is to report back to the President with recommendations from the interactions.
Buhari had also drawn the attention of the visitors to challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic globally.The President noted: “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.” The visiting monarchs also included Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, and Tor Tiv V, Orchivirigh (Prof.) James Ortese Iorzua Ayatse.