President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday met with the leadership of the National Assembly, behind closed doors, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, represented the leadership of National Assembly at the meeting, which was presided over the president.
Speaking to State House correspondents after the meeting, Lawan said that the meeting specifically deliberated on how best to address the ongoing ENDSARS demonstrations in some parts of the country.
According to him, the National Assembly has a crucial role to play in ensuring that the demands of the protesters are properly addressed and implemented to restore sanity in the society.
Lawan lauded the President for the way and manner he had been handling the issues raised by the aggrieved youths in the country.
“This is certainly a very trying moment and as the National Assembly, we believe that we have a very critical and crucial role to play in ensuring that the current situation of protest across the country is bought to an end.
“I want to thank Mr. President for exhibiting very deep democratic credentials. The protests have gone on for over 10 days across many states of the country. I think the protesters have expressed their legitimate right and the government has listened.
“The essence of coming to meet Mr. President is to review the situation and see the roles the two arms of government should play in ensuring that the five-point demands of the protesters are properly addressed.
“Where legislative intervention will be required, we are ready to move in and deal with such speedily, to ensure that we don’t waste any time, so that we address the concerns of our youths.
“Where the executive role is expected, we are sure that the executive will expedite action and we will be watching to ensure that such demands are properly met,’’ he said.
The senate president, therefore, appealed to the aggrieved youths to suspend their protests because the government had commenced the implementation of their five-point demand.
He, however, underscored the need to give the government needed sufficient and enabling environment to implement the demands.
Lawan said that the appeal had become imperative to avert possible breakdown of law and order in the country.
He said: “It is also very critical at this point to mention this, since the protest had taken place and the demands had been accepted.
“Time has come for the protest to stop because government needs to have sufficient time and conducive environment to implement the demands of the protesters. We also need to have our economy to continue to grow.
“When we try to stop everybody from engaging in their local businesses, closing roads to markets and other economic places, we disrupt 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 the demonstrations and protests. But since the issues had been accepted, we should give government time to implement the demands.
“Therefore, I’m taking this opportunity to appeal to our youths, who are protesting, that the protests have already yielded the desire results,” he added.
According to him, this is because other Nigerians have the legitimate right to go on their lawful businesses without hindrance.
Also commenting on the outcome of the meeting, Gbajabiamila reiterated the readiness of the National Assembly to partner with other arms of government, particularly the executive, in meeting the genuine demands of Nigerians.
He, however, condemned the attack on Gov. Gboyega Oyetola during the ENDSARS protest in Osogbo on Saturday.