Following the meeting of the National Security Council he chaired in Abuja on Thursday, President Muhammadu Buhari is to make specific pronouncement, which may provide measures to address the current state of the nation.
The National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno, said this while addressing State House correspondents on the outcome of the meeting.
He said the government is looking into the Leki Toll Gate military deployment, which led to the killing of peaceful #EndSARS protesters.
Monguno said President Buhari is intent on reaching an amicable solution to the ongoing protests in the country and had instructed the security forces to do all that is necessary to reach an agreeable end.
While noting that Buhari is worried by the situation in the country and does not want things to get out of hand, the NSA said the protesting youth must show good faith as their demands had been met.
He said: “This situation, we all know is a very very grave situation, giving a lot of concern to everyone most especially Mr President.
“Mr President has directed that the government should do whatever is necessary in order to bring about an agreeable resolution to this crisis.
“So far, the government has been able to concede to the demands of the protesters. The initial demands have been considered and it appears now that the riots are taking a different and unwanted dimension.
“And Mr President is very concerned about this development and does not want a situation in which everything breaks down and results in anarchy, in lawlessness and people taking the law into their own hands.
“For one thing, if the government can begin to make concessions, then its also logical for the protesters, those that are aggrieved also to take a step back, take stock of their activities and come to a meeting point with government and its agencies.
“It is not Mr President’s desire to see any unwanted loss of lives and he is determined to ensure that things do not cascade into an unpleasant situation.
“Therefore, he has directed all the security agencies to operate within the confines of legitimacy, the confines of legality, not to do anything that will aggravate the situation.
President Buhari himself, I have just left his office, is also going to deal with these issues in a specific manner apart from what has just taken place in the council.
“I believe in the next couple of hours Mr President will come up with certain solutions that will be agreeable to the entire federation.
“Again, I have spoken with my colleagues in security, to also understand that these situations also require non-kinetic efforts which we are also working on, to appease those who are aggrieved and there is no need to take this thing further.
“But it is extremely important for the youths to understand that, if the atmosphere is not conducive for dialogue and understanding, we can’t have any peaceful resolution.
“The security agencies have been asked to apply as much restraint as possible. But then again, the youths should also understand that pushing their luck might also result in unwanted issues.
“So, it is very very important for everyone to take stock of what has already happened and not give a dark impression of this country to the international community.”
When asked what the agreeable resolution will be, the NSA said: “Mr President is going to look at each issue on its merit before coming up with the solution as the chief security officer of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.“
On the call for the president to address the nation, he said:
Monguno said: “I can’t actually divulge what was said but let’s just wait for President Buhari.”
Asked who deployed soldiers who killed peaceful protesters at Lekki Toll Gate and whether the incident will be investigated, the NSA “The government is looking into the incident that happened about 48 hours ago. You know, we can’t deal or act on conjectures, oppositions and so on and so forth.
“We need to verify things first. But the government is not oblivious of the fact that certain things had happened and there is also a possibility that actual facts could be distorted by either party. So, the government is going to look at that before coming up with something. But definitely, the government is not treating this issue lightly.”
The meeting was attended by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha and Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari.
The security chiefs in attendance are Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olanisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas and Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Saddique Abubakar.
Others in attendance are the Inspector General of Police, Muhammad Adamu; National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (Rtd); Director-General, Nigeria Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Rufai and Director-General, Department of State Services, Yusuf Bichi.
Ministers in the meeting are those of Defence, Bashir Magashi; Interior, Rauf Aregbesola; Police Affairs, Mohammad Dingyadi and Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama.
The meeting came against the background of #EndSARS nationwide protests, which led to the killings of peaceful protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate.
The killings were followed by massive burning and looting of properties, especially in Lagos.