A former Head of State, Abdulsalam Abubakar, has described the ongoing #EndSARS protests by the youths as a legitimate pursuit.
He, however, advised the youth to exercise restraint in their actions.
Abubakar called on President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that the rights of the people are not only respected but also protected.
“The right to protest is considered a cardinal principle in human existence wherever individuals live together as a family or a community,” he said.
Abubakar, who is the Chairman of the National Peace Committee, in a statement, tagged ‘ENDSARS Protest: Time to Pause’, said, “We watched with utter shock, deep sorrow and sadness, the events that have taken place across the country in the wake of these protests by our youths.
“We have seen ugly scenes of activities that are unrelated to the goals of the youth protesters. This is very sad, but we call for calm among our people and appeal to the President to ensure that the rights of citizens are fully respected and protected.
“The right to protest is considered a cardinal principle in human existence wherever individuals live together as a family or a community. Every community is formed and strengthened by the contribution of all its members.
“The respect for and defence of the right of each member of the community is what sustains and strengthens that community. Therefore, when an individual or some members feel aggrieved, it is their right to seek redress within the rules guiding their existence and that of the community.”
He added, “It is against this backdrop that we must see the EndSARS protests by the youths in our dear country as a legitimate pursuit. Like millions of other Nigerians, we all concede that it is within the rights of our youths to express their grievances with the system.
“However, the right to protest is not an absolute right independent of the machinery and laws that govern a given society. Whenever an individual or a group protests in the face of an injury, it is often based on the fact that other remedies have not worked. Notwithstanding this, the right of the protester must include the belief that redress will benefit both the aggrieved and the larger society.
“We appeal to the President to take very seriously, the grievances that the youths have expressed and layout more clearly, a short medium and long- term programme for meeting the objectives of the protests for the growth of our democracy.”