Northern States Governors Forum yesterday, alleged that some anti-democracy forces wanted to hijack #EndSARS protest to overthrow President Muhammadu Buhari.

The forum, under the chairmanship of Plateau Governor, Simon Lalong, which met with relevant stakeholders, commended President Buhari and his cabinet for the quick intervention in meeting the demands of the protesters.

He said that deft move checkmated forces that wanted to hide under the #EndSaRS protest to destabilise the country.

The governors resolved to give Buhari the maximum support as he rolls out measures to address the lingering challenges of youth unemployment, banditry and Boko Haram insurgency.

This was contained in a communique read at the end of the meeting by Lalong.

It read: “The meeting rejects and condemns the subversive actions of the #EndSARS protest. The superlative agitations and other change-regime actions outside the ballot box soon take advantage of the peaceful protest to push for their separative agenda. The meeting endorse the indivisibility, indissolubility and oneness of the nation.

“It commends the roles of his eminence, royal highnesses and other royal fathers in ensuring the #EndSARS protests did not escalate significantly in the North by adopting sentimental issues such as ethnicity and religion. The Forum resolved to continuously engage with their royal highnesses in addressing this challenge.

“Forum appreciate Mr. President and his cabinet for the quick intervention in meeting the demands of the #EndSARS protesters and resolved to give him the maximum support as he rolls out measures to address the lingering challenges of youth unemployment, banditry and Boko Haram insurgency in the country.

“Meeting noted and appreciated the far-reaching efforts of Northern States Governors’ Forum in taking proactive measures to address the #EndSARS protests in the country and the North in particular. Equally, Forum notes with satisfaction the actions taken by the governors to revive the economic fortunes of the region particularly during the post-COVID-19 period.”

The meeting was attended by the Senate president, deputy speaker and other members of the National Assembly, the chief of staff to the president, ministers of Federal Capital Territory, Information and Culture, the Inspector General of Police, principal officers of the National Assembly and chairmen of the Northern States Traditional Rulers Council, led by the Sultan of Sokoto.

The governors appreciated the roles of traditional rulers in containing the menace of #EndSARS protests in the North and collectively agreed that traditional rulers be given formal roles in the governance architecture of the country.

‘The Forum appreciates the role of religious leaders, such as the Ulamas, JNI and Christian Association of Nigeria for their positive interventions in resolving the #EndSARS conflicts.

“Calls for collective effort in addressing the lingering challenges of the North like Almajiri system, insecurity, illiteracy and poverty.

“It appreciates the roles of National Assembly in engaging the youths and other critical stakeholders in resolving the conflicts.

“The Forum also appreciate the roles of the youths for their response to the #EndSARS, in curtailing the spread of hooliganism, thuggery and other separatist tendencies.

“Forum appreciates the major reforms going on in the Police Force and pledges to support Mr. President on this course.

“The meeting resolves to support the Nigerian Police Force to serve the country better and calls for the strengthening of trust between the people and the police.

“The meeting expressed concern over the low level involvement of relevant of stakeholders in the implementation programmes of government and calls on the relevant agencies to review implementation strategies to make for maximum impact and benefits.

“Condemned attacks on persons and properties, especially persons living in other parts of the country. Also condemned attacks and burning of places of worship in some parts of the country in the name of #EndSARS protests.

“The meeting took note of the devastating effect of the uncontrolled social media in spreading fake news and calls for major control mechanism and censorship of the social media practice in Nigeria.

“Meeting raises attention on the need to keep strict watch on the Federal Capital Territory to guide against unwarranted and destructive protests to safeguard critical assets of the nation.”

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