President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR

#EndSARS: National Assembly urges Buhari to address Nigerians now

*If dialogue fails, the government should use whatever means possible to end the protests ─Senator Adamu Aliero (Kebbi State)

*The current system did a great disservice to children and the country, says Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

In view of the worsening #EndSARS anti-Police protests and their attendant socio-economic impacts on individual Nigerians, businesses and organisations in the past days, the Nigerian Senate, Tuesday, October 20 urged President Muhammadu Buhari to address the people on the continued nationwide demonstrations.

The Senators, however, called on the #EndSARS demonstrators to end protests, as it also advised the Federal Government to faithfully implement all the protesters’ five demands as soon as possible.

The Upper Legislative Chamber of the National Assembly (NASS) likewise directed the Police authorities to deploy officers to protect peaceful protesters from attacks by hoodlums.

ConsumerConnect reports the Senate’s decisions followed a motion by Senator Biodun Olujimi (Ekiti), and co-sponsored by all the other Senators in the Red Chamber.

The Nigerian Senate

Senator Olujimi in her lead debate on the floor, noted that what began as peaceful protests against Police brutality and intimidation had degenerated into violence with scores of people killed and several property destroyed.

She said despite the disbandment of SARS and promise to reform the police, the protests had grown beyond initial agitation to include good governance.

Senator Adamu Aliero (Kebbi) also urged the Federal Government to dialogue with the protesters.

Aliero said: “If dialogue fails, the government should use whatever means possible to end the protests,” saying, the government would not want the country to degenerate into the state of anarchy.

Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege, Deputy Senate President, also a victim of SARS brutality in the past, urged the demonstrators to allow the government to address the issues raised.

In his contribution to the debate, Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe, Senate Minority Leader, urged the Federal Government to set up a judicial panel of inquiry that will people who are well-respected by the youths so as to identify the most notorious SARS officers and prosecute them in accordance with the law.

Earlier, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tuesday threatened to not sign the proposed 2021 Budget, if it does not include adequate provisions to compensate those who have suffered violence and brutality at the hands of the Nigeria Police, and if the budget does not meet reasonable demands of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to which government has already agreed.

Hon. Gbajabiamila stated lamented that the current system did a great disservice to children and the country, hence they must commit to changing it so that institutions of higher learning can be citadels where innovation thrives, and excellence reigns.

A bill which will hold erring operatives accountable for their actions was currently underway, said the Speaker.

He disclosed that he and some members of the House of Representative next week, would visit some of the families of those who had lost loved ones to Police brutality.

Gbajabiamila said: “Let me say now for the records to reflect, and in the expectation that I would be held to account.

“I will not sign off on a 2021 Budget that does not include adequate provisions to compensate those who have suffered violence and brutality at the hands of the police in Nigeria in the last two decades.

“I will not sign off on a budget that does not meet the reasonable demands of the ASUU, to which Government has already acceded.

“With my colleagues in the House of Representatives, I will visit over the next week, some of the families of those who have lost loved ones to police brutality; and when we come back, we will work together to honour the memory of those we have lost.

He added that “the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olumide Akpata constituted a Committee, led by the eminent Professor Deji Adekunle, to work with the House of Representatives to develop a Bill for the House within the timeline we have pledged. The Committee has resumed its assignment.

“Two weeks from now, the House will receive and immediately begin considerations.”

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