The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Sunday met with the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan; and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, over the ongoing protests against the scrapped Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police Force.
Rising from the meeting held inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Lawan told State House correspondents that the country and its leaders are passing through a trying time.
He however told the protesting youths that it was time for them to stop the protests since the government has already started attending to their demands.
“This is certainly a trying moment for our country and the leadership of this country.
“As the National Assembly, we believe we have critical and crucial roles in ensuring that the current situation of protests across the country is brought to an end,” he said.
According to Lawan, the protesters have expressed their legitimate rights while the government has listened.
He said the essence of their meeting with the President was to review the situation and see the roles the two arms of government should play in ensuring that the demands of the protesters are properly addressed.
Where legislative intervention will be required, Lawan said federal lawmakers were ready to move in and deal with such expeditiously.
He said the lawmakers would also be watching to ensure that the executive also expedites action where executive role is expected.
Gbajabiamila joined Lawan in calling on the youth to stop the protest.
He however said they were at liberty to resume the protests if they discovered that nothing had been done after two weeks.
He urged the youth to give the President the benefit of the doubt since he was the one that scrapped SARS this time, and not the Inspector-General of Police.
He said, “I have heard the stories that ‘we have heard end SARS like four times before’. That is what people are saying.
“Like I said, you have never heard it from Mr President, but now, he has said so. So, let us tarry a little while. Let us sit back. We have got what we want, let us sit back and see what happens.
“If you like, you begin your protests again if nothing happens in two weeks. But let us not continue this thing and lose the plot. That is what I don’t want.”
Gbajabiamila also explained to the youth that some of their demands are policy matters that cannot be achieved overnight, hence the need for them to exercise patience.
“Some of these things are policy matters that are not going to happen overnight. You are not going to have electricity overnight; it is not going to happen tomorrow. Free road is not going to happen tomorrow.
“It is a process and the important thing is that the government has heard you loud and clear. It is a continuous engagement. We will be engaging our youths in matters of policy and communicate with Mr President as well on what needs to be done.”