Crisis in Nigeria: Muhammadu Buhari comes out of his silence

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari during a televised address, October 22, 2020. Nigeria Presidency / Handout via REUTERS

Text by: RFI Follow

3 min

Nigerian President Muhamadou Buhari ended up speaking this Thursday, October 22, on the crisis that is taking hold in his country.

However, he did not say anything about the repression of the protest.


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With our correspondent in Abuja,

Liza Fabbian

Muhammadu Buhari said he heard the legitimate concerns of the Nigerian people about the excessive use of force by some members of the police.

The Head of State regretted that his long silence of the last few days could be interpreted as " 

a mark of weakness

 " on his part.

He condemned the violence that has erupted in recent days in several cities across the country.

Human lives have been lost, sexual assaults have been committed, two major prisons have been attacked, detainees released, looting has taken place, Muhammadu Buhari said.

He also recalled that the SARS police unit, hated by the demonstrators,

was dissolved

and that reforms were initiated to meet the demands of the youth.

Not a word on repression

However, he did not say a word about the violent repression carried out in recent days by the security forces against the protest movement.

No apology or even allusion to the intervention of the army against the demonstrators gathered peacefully in Lagos on Tuesday evening.

It is therefore difficult to believe that this speech by the Head of State will succeed in calming the escalation of violence.

To read also: Nigeria: after a "bloody Tuesday", the violence continues in Lagos

This Thursday was also still very tense in Lagos and throughout the country.

Angry gangs were still present in the streets of the megalopolis where entire neighborhoods were sacked.

This Thursday, the thugs notably attacked Ikoyi prison, in the heart of a wealthy district of the city.

Authorities announced this evening that no detainees had escaped.

They said fire stations, ambulances, banks and 100 buses had been set on fire in recent days.

Police stations were also attacked on Thursday in Ibadan, where two police officers were burned alive, according to information reported by the Nigerian press.


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  • Nigeria

  • Muhammadu Buhari