Bolaji Ogundele, Abuja

Senate President Ahmad Lawan has appealed to #EndSARS protesters to back down because it could worsen the nation’s economic situation.

Speaking to State House Correspondents after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, alongside Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, Lawan said quitting the protests at this point would be the best step to take by the protesters.

According to him, the message from the protesters had been effectively communicated and led to some responses, which he said include the termination of SARS as a unit, adding that other issues had already started receiving attention but the government needs time to fully execute the demands

He insisted since the government had respected their opinions and heeded their calls, the right thing to do now would be to call all the protests across the country off, free the roads and all other positions where protests have been hurting other citizens’ freedom and peace.

“It is also very critical at this point to mention this. Since the protests have taken place and the issues have been accepted, the time has come for the protests to stop because the government needs to have sufficient time, a clement environment to implement the demands of the protesters.

“We also need to have our economy to continue to go on, when you try to stop everybody from engaging in their lawful business, closing roads to markets and other economic places, we distract the economy of the country and that is not the best way to go.

“If the issues had not been accepted, then there would have been genuine reasons to continue with demonstrations and protests, but since the issues have been accepted, we should give the government time to implement the issues and therefore, I’m taking this opportunity to our youths who are protesting that the protests have already yielded the desired result.

“First they said #EndSARS, that was the beginning, SARS was ended, not by the IGP. SARS was ended by the President himself, President Muhammadu Buhari made a Presidential statement and that would be the first time when any president will say ‘end SARS’ and SARS has ended. The other issues followed, they are being addressed and that’s why we are here.

“I believe the time has come for this protest to come to an end to allow government to attend to the issues in a very short time. I also believe that other Nigerians have legitimate right to go about their lawful businesses without let or hindrance and we cannot have that when the roads are blocked.

“We don’t want a situation where there will be a degeneration of law and order because somebody is blocked he feels he must have his way.

“So we believe that withdrawing from this protest at this moment is the right thing to do, meanwhile give us the opportunity to deal with matters that we, as a government, have agreed to handle”, he said.

The Senate President pointed out that the youth had made their legitimate demands and the government had listened to them.

“The essence of coming to meet Mr. President is to review the situation and see the role the two arms of government should play in ensuring that the five-point demands are properly addressed.

“Where legislative intervention required, we are ready to move in and deal with such expeditiously to ensure that we don’t waste any time so that we address the concern of our youth.

“Where the Executive is expected, I’m sure the Executive will also expedite action. We will be watching to ensure that such demands are properly met”, he said.

The Nation