…Go back home and give FG chance to expeditiously implement the demands, Lawan to Protesters
…Says N’Assembly will push for implementation of protesters’ demands
By Henry Umoru
PROTESTERS against the brutality of men of the Special Anti- Robbery Squad, SARS Thursday stormed the entrance to the National Assembly for several hours.
The protesters numbering over one thousand, were seen shouting and calling for the end of Police brutality.
Obianuju Iloanaya who was one of the protesters, demanded for justice for her brother, Chijioke Iloanaya who was last seen in SARS custody in 2012, saying she was convinced a SARS gang led by Csp James Nwafor had “wasted” him.
With tears flowing down her cheeks, Obianuju sought for justice, even as she said that anything short of that will not be sufficient.
Meanwhile, President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan yesterday asked those protesting against the actions of SARS to go home and allow the Federal to quickly and expeditiously implement the demands.
According to Lawan, it has become very imperative for the protesters to put an end to their actions since the federal government has proscribed the dreaded SARS, just as he said that though Nigerians have the right to peaceful demonstration when they feel very strongly about issues.
Speaking today during plenary after the upper chamber was briefed by the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, All Progressives Congress, APC, Kebbi North on the intervention by the leadership to wade into the matter, President of the Senate said that the National Assembly would ensure that the five demands made to the Executive by #EndSARS protesters are implemented.
The Senate President had on Wednesday asked Senator Abdullahi and the Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Abia South to meet with the protesters and report back to the Chamber.
Lawan said, “Nigerians have the right to peaceful demonstration when they feel very strongly about issues. They can do so to cL the attention of the leaders of this country for the appropriate actions to be taken.
“The government has responded, SARS has been disbanded. All the five demands of the protesters have been accepted. Since such demands have been accepted, then we should be expedite taking action to actualise them.
“I believe that when protesters’ demands are met, their goals should have been achieved.
“Therefore, there’s need for our compatriots to go back home and give government the chance to quickly and expeditiously implement those demands.
“Both Chambers of the National Assembly have identified with the protests that they are legitimate and the demands are legitimate.
“The next vital stage is for the protest to stop, because the initial reasons for the protests have been accepted as facts and government is trying to do everything possible.
“And I will urge government, including us, we should push the executive arm of government to ensure that those demands are implemented as quickly as possible.”
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Earlier, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi while giving details of the meeting between the Senate delegation and the protesters yesterday, said, “we met with a view to pacifying the protesters and also extending our commiseration with them over what happened.
“They explained that in the course of their peaceful demonstration, they were accosted by some hoodlums who they alleged were directed by the police to attack them; and how they were able to weather the storm and assemble at the National Assembly to inform us of their travails.
“We sympathized with them and received verbally, the complaints that they wanted to submit to the National Assembly.
“They complained of damages to their vehicles, and some physical injuries that some of them sustained. Fortunately, there were no major injuries or even violent death.
“We implored them to submit a catalogue of their complaints and the damages or injuries that were inflicted upon them, so that these can be conveyed to the appropriate authorities for interventions.
“Today, the Minority Leader as we arranged yesterday was there on the ground to receive the catalogue of complaints. Unfortunately those complains are not ready, so whenever they are ready, the leadership is going to compile and submit them to the appropriate authority for attention. I just wanted to inform my colleagues, so that we put this particular issue on record.”