Mr Buhari says he will do “whatever it takes” to stop the protests from happening again.
The Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Dingyadi, quoted the president to have said this during the meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) at the State House, Abuja, on Tuesday.
He said the president reassured that the Federal Government would continue to dialogue with relevant “stakeholders” in ensuring peaceful and harmonious socio-economic environment across the country.
“What we are saying is that government will continue to dialogue, it will continue to listen and will continue to carry all stakeholders along in ensuring that there is no repeat of what happened that destroyed a lot of property, public and private, individuals in this country,’’ the minister quoted the president to have said.
The #EndSARS protests started in October with the demand for the disbandment of SARS, a police unit accused of extrajudicial killings and other abuses.
The protests continued after the government announced the dissolution of the unit, with campaigners insisting the measure be implemented. The protests subsided after soldiers shot at demonstrators at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos.
Mr Dingyadi said the NSC meeting on Tuesday was convened to brief the president about the security situation in the country.
He said the meeting stressed the need to pay greater attention to the police in the discharge of their functions to maintain peace in the country, in the areas of equipment and modern technology.
According to the minister, the president thanked members of the Council for their efforts in maintaining peace and assured them that he will do whatever it takes to support security agencies in providing peace in the country.
“The meeting agreed to be more proactive in dealing with the situation in a more decisive manner.
“The meeting thanked the president for the concern which he has shown in repositioning the police to perform more effectively.
“President reassured that all stakeholders will be involved in the process of maintaining peace in the country, particularly the youth, community leaders, traditional rulers, politicians, public servants, religious leaders etc.’’
The minister said the federal government would continue to maintain its “bureaucratic, humane and just postures” in handling security matters in the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that those in attendance at the meeting included the Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo; Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha; Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.
Others in attendance were; Ministers of Defence, Bashir Salihi Mahashi; Interior, Rauf Aregbesola; Foreign Affairs, Geoffery Onyeama and Police Affairs, Muhammad Dingyadi.
Service chiefs in attendance included the Chief of Defence Staff, Gabriel Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Ibok Ekwe Ibas and the Chief of Air Staff, Sadique Abubakar.
Other members of the security community who attended the meeting were; Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu; Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rufa’i and the Director-General of the Directorate of State Services (DSS), Yusuf Bichi.