President Muhammadu Buhari, on Sunday, met behind closed door with the leadership of the National Assembly at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila represented the leadership of NASS at the meeting which was presided over by the president.
Speaking to State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, the Senate President said the meeting specifically deliberated on how best to address the ongoing #EndSARS demonstrations being witnessed in some parts of the country.
According to him, the National Assembly has a crucial role to play in ensuring that the demands of the protesters are properly addressed and implemented to restore sanity in the society.
Lawan lauded the president for the way and manner he had been handling the issues raised by the aggrieved youths in the country.
“This is certainly a very trying moment and as a National Assembly, we believe that we have a very critical and crucial role to play in ensuring that the current situation of protest across the country is brought to an end.
“I want to thank Mr President for exhibiting a very deep democratic credentials – the protests have gone on for over ten days, across many States of the country and I think the protesters have expressed their legitimate right, the government has listened.
“The essence of coming to meet Mr President is to review the situation and see the roles the two arms of government should play in ensuring that the five-point demands of the protesters are properly addressed.
“Where legislative intervention will be required, we are ready to move in and deal with such expeditiously, to ensure that we don’t waste any time so that we address the concerns of our youths.
“Where the executive role is expected we are sure that the executive will expedient action and we will be watching to ensure that such demands are properly met,’’ he said.
Lawan, therefore, appealed to the aggrieved youths to suspend their protests as government had commenced implementation of their five-point demands, saying government needed sufficient and conducive environment to implement the demands.
He said the appeal had become imperative to avert possible break down of law and order in the country.
He said: “It is also very critical at this point to mention this, since the protest had taken place and the demands had been accepted.
“Time has come for the protest to stop because government needs to have sufficient time and conducive environment to implement the demands of the protesters. We also need to have our economy to continue to grow.
“When we try to stop everybody from engaging in their local businesses, closing roads to markets and other economic place we disrupt the economy of the country and that is not the best way to go.
“If the issues had not been accepted then there would have been genuine reasons to continue with the demonstrations and protests. But since the issues had been accepted we should give government time to implement the issue.
“Therefore, I’m taking this opportunity to appeal to our youths who are protesting that the protests have already yielded the desire results.
According to him, other Nigerians have the legitimate right to go on their lawful businesses without hindrance.
Also commenting on the outcome of the meeting, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Gbajabiamila, reiterated the readiness of the NASS to partner with other arms of government particularly the executive, in meeting the genuine demands Nigerians.
He, however, condemned the attack on Governor Gboyega Oyetola during the #ENDSARS protest in Osogbo on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the Prelate of Methodist Church of Nigeria, Dr Samuel Uche, has advised “ENDSARS’’ protesters to disperse and be patient as the Federal Government is making effort to meet their demands.
The prelate gave the advice in an interview with newsmen after the ordination service held for 20 priests and deaconess at the Methodists Cathedral of Unity, Wuse, Abuja.
Uche wondered why the youths were still on the streets protesting, saying that the government had started addressing their requests.
“ I want to advise all the youths to please leave the roads and go home.
“If anybody has sent them to cause disorder, they should say no to that person and allow this government to perform.
“Government has been very magnanimous to appeal to them that they will take care of their requests.
“Why are they still protesting? There is more to the protest than meet the eyes. Let them sheath their sword.
“I am saying they should not trouble this democratically elected government,’’ the prelate said.
He further advised them not to give room to unpatriotic elements to cash in on the protest to disabilise the government and country at large.
Uche, however, empathised with the youth, saying that they resolved to embark on the action as many of them have no job.
“They are children, I pity them, some of them do not have jobs.’’
He called on government at all levels, Federal, state and local, as well as entrepreneurs to create jobs for the youth.
According to him, the country is presently being faced with a number of challenges and stressed the need for Nigerians to be patient with the government.
On the disbanded SARS, the prelate said that he supported the action but advised that another squad or unit should be created to replace it.
This, he said was necessary to address current insecurity in the country.
He said that although the Nigeria Police were doing a good and noble job, there were “bags eggs’’ among them, especially the disbanded SARS.
“The police are doing a good job in Nigeria, but they have allowed some bag eggs to enter into their midst.
“They – police – are important. They should have a sort of re-orientation and continue with their noble work of protecting lives and property.
“All those bad eggs should be removed, those who have killed or attacked people unjustly should be disciplined. Some of them should be dismissed,’’ he said.
He urged the Federal Government to improve the welfare of the police and other security agencies in the country, and equip them so they could discharge their responsibilities effectively.
On the newly ordained priests and deaconess, Uche advised them to go out and win souls for Christ and not seek to amass wealth.
“The most important thing is to seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness and other things will be added.
“A minister should be exemplary, a minister should be apolitical. They should not join PDP or APC or Accord political parties,’’ he said, adding that those who do otherwise would be sent out of the Church.
The prelate prayed God to grant wisdom to those in positions of authorities to govern the nation well.