BY BODE GBADEBO, Abuja
… Tells them to go home
President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, has said the National Assembly would ensure that the five demands made to the Federal Government by the #EndSARS protesters are implemented.
Lawan gave the assurance at Senate plenary on Thursday after the upper chamber was briefed by the Senate Leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi (APC, Kebbi North) on the intervention by the leadership of the National Assembly to wade into the matter.
Giving details into the meeting between the Senate delegation that met with the protesters at the National Assembly gate on Wednesday, Senator Abdullahi 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,” the Senate Leader said.
Responding, the Senate President, who described the demands by the protesters as legitimate, said the National Assembly would prevail on the Executive arm of government to ensure expeditious implementation.
He, however, urged the protesters to go back home so as to give the Federal Government the chance to see to the implementation of their demands.
“We took a motion sponsored by Distinguished Senator Oluremi Tinubu on the challenges that we face, especially with respect to the SARS activities across the country and, of course, we took far reaching resolutions.
“Nigerians, let me say, have the right to peaceful demonstration. When they feel very strongly about issues, they can do so to call the attention of the leaders of this country for appropriate action to be taken.
“I believe that the government has responded, SARS has been disbanded and all the five demands of the protesters have been accepted.
“What I’ll urged here is if such demands have been accepted, then we should expedite taking action to actualize them.
“I believe that when protesters demands are met, their goal should have been achieved. Therefore, there is 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 protests and demands.
“I think the next vital step is for the protests to stop because the initial reasons for the protests have been accepted as facts and government is trying to do everything possible.
“I urge government and that includes us, that we should push to ensure that those demands of the protesters that the executive side has accepted to implement are implemented as quickly as possible,” Lawan added.