President Muhammadu Buhari says he will not allow a repeat of the #EndSARS protests that rocked the country in October.
At a meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) on Tuesday, he said “relevant stakeholders”, including the youth, will be carried along to forestall a repeat.
Muhammad Dingyadi, minister of police affairs, briefed journalists after the meeting.
When asked if the government would go tough on protesters, he replied: “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 properties, public and private, in this country.
On what “decisive action” means, he said it is “all inclusive” covering technology and equipment “so we can face these challenges head on”.
A public protest against police brutality had led to looting, mass destruction and killings.
The losses are estimated at trillions of naira.
Earlier on Tuesday, police prevented a meeting of #EndSARS organisers from holding at the Afrika Shrine in Lagos.
Dingyadi said Buhari thanked NSC members for the efforts they are making in maintaining peace and assured them that he will do “whatever it takes” to support security agencies.
“Mr. President assured Nigerians that he will do whatever it takes to ensure a repeat of EndSARS protests does not occur in Nigeria,” he said.
“Mr. 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 federal government will continue to maintain its bureaucratic, humane and just postures in handling security matters in the country.”
He said the meeting noted “with concern” the increasing cases of armed banditry, particularly in the north-west and north-east.
The NSC is made up of all heads of security agencies in Nigeria as well as other key federal government officials and ministers.