Senate President Ahmad Lawan has assured the youth that the National Assembly would ensure justice for victims of brutality by personnel of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). Lawan gave this assurance yesterday, in a statement he personally signed. He also said that, as a means to discourage impunity, the apex assembly would insist that the perpetrators of the alleged abuses be prosecuted and sanctioned appropriately.
The lawmaker further promised that the National Assembly would work with the Executive to ensure that the five-point demand of the #EndSARS protesters, which the government had accepted, were fully implemented. Lawan appealed to the youth to end their protests and allow the government to implement their demands while calling on security agencies to checkmate criminal elements perpetrating mayhem in the midst of the protesting youths.
He said: “I want to seize this opportunity to re-assure our youths that the National Assembly will collaborate with the Executive to ensure justice for victims of misconduct and rights abuses by personnel of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police.
“In the same vein, to discourage impunity, we will insist that the perpetrators of the alleged abuses be prosecuted and sanctioned as appropriate. “We will also work with the Executive to ensure that the five-point demand of the #EndSARS protesters which the government has committed itself to are fully implemented.
“In spite of the unfortunate hijack of the protests against police brutality by hoodlums to unleash horrifying violence, arson, looting and wanton destruction of public and private property on the country, we will ensure that government fulfills the commitment it has made to the well-meaning agitators for police reform and good governance. “The National Assembly is fully committed to putting the necessary legislation in place for comprehensive reform of the Police to enhance their institutional integrity and efficiency.”
The Senate President commiserated with the victims of the violence. “As we seek a path out of this regrettable crisis, my heart goes out to the victims of the reprehensible violence and criminality witnessed in the last few days in many parts of the country. “I send my condolences to the families of our security and law enforcement agents who have made the supreme sacrifices in the course of their service to their fatherland.
“I also call for a thorough investigation of every criminal act that we have witnessed in the past few weeks with a view to bringing to justice all those elements who have so callously destroyed public and private property,” he said.
Lawan called on the youth to call off the street protests. According to him, “Now that the mindless carnage has distorted the purpose of the protests, I urge the youth to join hands with the authorities in bringing an urgent cessation to the violence. “I call on our patriotic youths to leave the streets as government has heard their voices and is addressing their grievances. This is also necessary to avoid unwittingly continuing to provide covers for the criminals and fifth columnists in our midst.
“However, as regards those criminal elements unleashing terror on our cities under the guise of the protest, I urge the security agencies to, forthwith but with utmost restraint, restore law and order across the country and bring the criminals to justice. “While still grappling with the havoc of COVID- 19, the country can ill afford yet another epidemic that has now appeared in the form of the lawlessness that is going on.”