The Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Dingyadi, said on Tuesday that President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to do whatever it takes to prevent a repeat of the #EndSARS protests that rocked parts of the country recently.
Dingyadi made this disclosure to State House correspondents at the end of a meeting of the National Security Council presided over by the President at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He also said the President promised more support for the nation’s security agencies to maintain peace.
The minister said, “In his concluding remarks, Mr President thanked members for the efforts they are making in maintaining peace and assured members that he will do whatever it takes to support security agencies in providing peace in the country.
“Mr President assured Nigerians that he will do whatever it takes to ensure that a repeat of ENDSARS protests does not occur in Nigeria again.
“Mr President reassured all that all stakeholders will be involved in the process of maintaining peace in the country, particularly the youth, community leaders, traditional rulers, politicians, public servants, religious leaders etc.
“The Federal Government will continue to maintain its bureaucratic, humane, and just postures in handling security matters in the country.”
When asked if the President’s promise not to allow a repeat of EndSARS protests means his administration will be clamping down on prospective protesters, the minister replied, “What we are saying is that government will continue to dialogue, it will continue to listen and will continue to carry all stakeholders along in ensuring that there is no repeat of what happened that led to the destruction of a lot of properties, public and private, individuals in this country.”
Dingyadi, who stated that the meeting which was convened to brief the President on the security situation in the country, noted with concern the increasing cases of armed banditry particularly in the North West and North-East.
He said the meeting agreed that security agencies should be more proactive in dealing with the situation in a more decisive manner.
“The meeting noted the need to pay greater attention to the police in the discharge of its functions to maintain peace in the country, in the areas of equipment and modern technology.
“The meeting thanked the President for the concern which he has shown in repositioning the police to perform more effectively,” he added.
Although the minister said security agencies have targets and timeline to deliver, he did not disclose the details of the target and the timeline.
He also claimed that bandits have already been degraded, adding that they are only engaging on “hit-and-run kind of tactics.”
He also debunked the report that policemen have abandoned the Abuja-Kaduna Road.
While saying that policemen and soldiers are embarking on joint patrol of the road, the minister agreed that efforts must be intensified to make the road safe for travellers.
Dingyadi also said he reported to the council that policemen have returned to their duty posts after their withdrawal in the wake of the protests.
He however admitted that policemen cannot be everywhere at the same time.
The meeting was attended by Vice-President Yemi Osinabjo, relevant ministers, and all heads of the nation’s security agencies.