I.K. Ogbonna pens an alternative speech to the one delivered by President Buhari on Thursday, dissolving the cabinet and sacking all service chiefs
ADDRESS TO THE NATION BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA ON THE ENDSARS PROTESTS, 22ND OCTOBER, 2020
I address you this evening with a heavy heart arising from the destruction of property and mindless loss of lives of young Nigerians demanding for a better deal from their fatherland, Nigeria.
My heart goes out to the families and friends of these Patriots and I wish to assure you that they did not die in vain. “The labors of our heroes past, shall never be in vain” and this we shall ensure.
A well-meaning demonstration that started to end SARS led to the ventilation of anger on the myriads of challenges facing our youths.
I wish to apologise to the youths of this nation on behalf of your leaders, past and present for letting you down. I’m aware of the numerous challenges facing you ranging from…
2. Lack of Social amenities
3. Inflation and high cost of living
4. Police harassment
5. Prolonged and protracted strikes by academic and non academic staff of higher institutions.
6. Poor state of educational institutions and low morale of teaching staff etc.
You are aware that my administration met most of these challenges and we have been doing our very best to confront them, I therefore call for your patience, understanding and cooperation to embolden us to do more.
I have issued the following directives:
1. Dissolution of the Federal Executive Council and a new one to be constituted by very many young Nigerians.
2. Setup a Judicial Panel of inquiry to be headed by a retired CJN to unravel the mystery behind the Lekki deployment of armed forces and to know if they acted within the rules of engagements.
3. Total overhaul, training and retraining of the rank and file of the police.
4. Sack of the Service Chiefs with immediate effect. I thank them for their services to the nation.
5. A severance allowance for NYSC members of 500,000 Naira each to enable them either start up a business or get a footing after their national service.
6. Settlement of all areas of grievances by ASUU to ensure that the prolonged strike is called off immediately.
7. Convening of a Youth Summit to be made up of NANS, youth bodies, NGOs, Federal Ministry of Youth Affairs and other relevant agencies to chart a new course in our future engagements with Nigerian Youths.
8. Ensure that young Nigerians are appointed into federal cabinet and other vital positions as I believe that the youths are not only the leaders of tomorrow but of today and we shall start equipping them to take over the mantle of leadership as we gradually step aside.
9. That our national flags be flown at half mast to signal a Nation in mourning.
We are aware that criminal elements have in some cases infiltrated the ranks of genuine protesters, I have therefore directed the Acting Inspector General of Police to fish out these undesirable elements and ensure that they face the music. Killing, destruction of property, maiming and other criminal activities are not part of genuine protest and these crimes have clear penalties in our criminal justice system.
I therefore as father of the nation enjoin you to return home to the warm embrace of your families and friends with the assurance that we shall overcome and like heroes returning from battle, we shall do our best to gain your confidence.
I thank you.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
President Muhammadu Buhari.
*Ogbonna the dreaming President is a media/PR practitioner based in Owerri.