Buhari meets NASS leadership at Aso Villa over ENDSARS protests

Lawan and Gbajabiamila

President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday met behind closed door with the leadership of the National Assembly at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 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 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 trial 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 bought 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 Gov. Gboyega Oyetola during the ENDSARS protest in Osogbo on Saturday.

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