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#EndSARS: Resist urge to use force against protesters, Atiku tells Buhari

The former vice-president says will violence against anti-police brutality campaigners will only aggravate the lingering stalemate.

• October 20, 2020
Atiku Abubakar
Former vice president of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar (Photo Credit: @atiku)

Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar on Tuesday called on President Muhamadu Buhari to reject the use of maximum force against #EndSARS protesters.

Mr. Abubakar said any use of force will only strengthen the resolve of the protesters and aggravate the protest, saying the government should continue to dialogue with the protesters, whom he described as reasonable.

“The #EndSARS protesters are not unreasonable; they mean well and acted responsibly,” Mr. Abubakar said. “This is the time to appeal to their reason by speedily implementing their reasonable demands. The use of maximum force will aggravate, rather than placate.”

The Nigerian opposition leader said Mr. Buhari should show care in order to win the confidence of the protesters.

“When the government shows that it cares, the citizens will fare well. Now is the time to apply reason, rather than brute force,” he said.

His advice came hours after Mr. Buhari’s ally Bola Tinubu warned protesters to immediately back down or the president will be left with no choice but to use force. 

Mr Abubakar, Mr. Buhari’s main challenger in 2019, has repeatedly issued statements in support of the protesters, although his political party PDP has remained largely quiet during the crisis, despite being Nigeria’s largest opposition.

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