To end the #EndSARS protest, President Muhammadu Buhari needs to take precisely some of the actions he has refused to take in the last five years; he should also not repeat the wrong actions he had taken in the past.
The actions he must take are:
1. Go on live television and address the country and the youth. We know that he is aged and may not be coherent. What is required is his expression of understanding of the plight of the youth, and his promise to do his best to secure the country.
2. Thank the youth for reawakening the government and the country for a better future.
3. Order the dissolution of SWAT.
4. Pay compensation to families of those who have been unlawfully killed by SARS, including slain #EndSARS protesters.
5. Announce a new salary structure for the police as part of a broad reform package.
6. Launch major security initiative to end banditry in the north.
7. Sack the service chiefs and replace them with senior military officers selected to maintain the country’s geopolitical balance.
8. Initiate a process of major amendments to the 1999 Constitution, including restructuring of the country.
9. Withdraw the 2021 Appropriation Bill and cut down on nondebt recurrent expenditure, including cuts to the allocation to the National Assembly.
10. Launch a venture capital fund of about N1 trillion for investing in innovation and women businesses. The idea for such a fund, as presented by one of the new-breed presidential candidates in the 2019 general election, is that it should be a PPP and managed by the private sector.
11. Take these steps quickly. Delay, as it is said, is dangerous.
12. If these actions are not enough, take similar additional actions, quickly.
The actions President Buhari must not take include:
1. Send the military to intimidate or attack peaceful, civilian protesters.
2. Allow his government officials to talk down on the protesters.
3. Use divide-and-rule tactics to undermine the protest.
4. Do nothing.