Tuesday, 20 October 2020

BREAKING NEWS: NIGERIAN SENATE URGES BUHARI TO, AS A MATTER OF URGENCY, ADDRESS NIGERIANS ON THE #EndSARS PROTESTS


The Senate on Tuesday asked the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to address the nation immediately on the current nationwide protests by youths against police brutality and bad governance.

The Senate also directed the police to offer protection to the #EndSARS protesters to prevent hoodlums from hijacking their genuine action.

The Senate decision was sequel to a point of order by Senator Biodun Olujimi, titled, “#EndSARS: The need for a comprehensive reform”

The federal lawmakers urged the protesters to stop their agitation on the streets while the Federal Government address their demands.They also urged Buhari to immediately set up a judicial panel of enquiry made up of eminent Nigerians that would be respected by the youths to identify the notorious SARS operatives and ensure their arrest and prosecution. The resolution followed a motion sponsored by Biodun Olujimi, senator representing Ekiti south.

Last week, the president said the scrapping of the special anti-robbery squad (SARS) is the first step to reforming the police. This followed nationwide protests against the unit which is notorious for human rights abuses.

But the protests against police brutality have continued.

While moving the motion on the floor of the senate on Tuesday, Olujimi said police brutality could be traced to the colonial days.

The senator expressed dismay that despite the dissolution of the special anti-robbery squad (SARS) by Mohammed Adamu, inspector-general of police (IGP), police officers have continued their assault on citizens.

“They have increased with intensity and violence with compatriots losing their lives. The protest has grown to include the demands for good governance,” she said.

“In June 2020, Amnesty International, in a report documented that between January 2017 and May 2020, there were 82 cases of torture, ill-treatment and extra-judicial killings by SARS.

“That latest #EndSARS protests which have assumed a global dimension began on the 3rd of October 2020 from the video of the SARS officer who shot a young man in Delta state.”

The senator called for an improved welfare for police officers.

“The barracks are in very bad shape, they must be up to living standards. Training and medical insurance to all members of the Nigeria Police Force,” Olujimi said.

The motion was adopted after it was put to a voice vote by Senate President Ahmad Lawan.

 

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