Atiku Abubakar, former vice president, has reacted to ongoing nationwide demonstration demanding the disbandment of the brutal Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS).
Mr Atiku, an opposition candidate in the last general election, in a Friday statement, backed youths who have taken to the streets to register their displeasure.
The call to disband the security outfit resuscitated after one of its operatives killed a man in Delta State.
“I woke up to the peaceful #EndSARSProtests going on in Lagos and other cities in the country,” Atiku said in a statement reproduced across his social media accounts.
“First, I would like to commend the tenacity of our brave youths who have stayed out on the streets all day and night to make their voices heard. I stand with you all.
“Protests are an essential part of any democracy as we have seen the world over, and should be seen as an opportunity for dialogue between our people and our leaders.
“Thus, it is essential that the fundamental rights of Nigerians to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression must be protected at all costs.
“I strongly condemn any disproportionate use of force on protesters across the nation. I also call on the relevant authorities to ensure our youths are heard, and all incidents of excessive use of force by security agencies against protesters are investigated,” the opposition presidential candidate added.
Meanwhile, the presidency has said President Muhammadu Buhari has been briefed and will soon act in the interest of Nigerians.