President Muhammadu Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari has reacted to the report by the Lagos state judicial panel on the Lekki tollgate shooting during the EndSARS protest on October 20, 2021, which indicted the Nigerian army and police.
Speaking at a meeting with Antony Blinken, United States secretary of state, in Abuja, on Thursday, November 18, President Buhari said he will await the steps taken by governors before the federal government takes action on the reports of the judicial panels of inquiry set up by states to investigate incidents of police brutality.
While those of Rivers, Delta, Ogun, among others, had earlier submitted their reports, the Lagos panel presented its report on police brutality — including the Lekki shooting — to Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of the state, on Monday. In its findings, the Lagos panel said security operatives “killed unarmed protesters” who had gathered at the Lekki tollgate.
A statement released by presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina, stated that while addressing the US Secretary-General, President Buhari said state governments will have to take steps on the reports of their panels, before the federal government acts on the recommendations.
“So many state governments are involved, and have given different terms of reference to the probe panels,” he said, according to a statement by Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman.
“We at the federal have to wait for the steps taken by the states, and we have to allow the system to work. We can’t impose ideas on them. Federal government has to wait for the reaction of the states.”
According to the statement, the US secretary of state described the report of the #EndSARS probe panel as “democracy in action”, and said he looks forward to necessary reforms within security agencies.
On the removal of Nigeria from countries violating religious freedom, the President said his administration remains committed to freedom of worship, adding that “no one is discriminated against on the basis of his or her faith”.
He also expressed his appreciation to the US for its support in the sale of military weapons to Nigeria to fight insecurity.
“It’s helping us to stabilise the situation in the north-east, and we’ve made a lot of progress since 2015. We are doing a lot on security, and the people involved appreciate our efforts.” the statement quoted the President as saying