OrderPaperToday – Protesters in their hundreds have besieged the gates of the National Assembly as President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, urged the executive arm to take action on the demands of #EndSARS protesters.
The protesters, mostly young Nigerians, have poured into the streets in various towns and cities across the country in relentless calls against police brutality and reforms of the Nigeria Police Force.
A specific demand of the protesters which is the disbandment of the controversial Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) has been met by the government but this has not kept them off the streets.
At plenary earlier, Senate Leader, Abdullahi Yahaya, briefed his colleagues on the outcome of a meeting with #EndSARS protesters who blocked the gate to the national assembly on Wednesday.
After the briefing, Lawan then asked Abdullahi and the minority leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, to meet with the protesters again.
The senate president admitted that the protests are legitimate but urged the protesters to retreat from the streets and allow the government expedite action on their demands.
He said: “Nigerians have the right to peaceful demonstration when they feel very strongly about an issue. They can do so to call the attention of the leaders of the country for the appropriate actions to be taken.
“I believe the government has responded; SARS has been disbanded. In fact they said all the five demands of the protesters have been accepted. If such demands have been accepted then we should expedite taking actions to actualize them.
“I believe that when protesters demands are met, their goals should have been achieved. I think that there’s need for the our compatriots to go back home and give government the chance to quickly and expeditiously implement those demands.
“The NASS has identified with the protest that they are legitimate protests and demands. The next vital step is for the protest to stop because the initial reasons for the protest have been accepted as facts and government is trying to do everything possible.
“I will urge government and that is including us, we should push the executive arm of government to ensure those demands of the protesters that the executive side had accepted to implement, are implemented as quickly as possible.”
Lawan’s latest position is coming on the heels of the decision of the House of Representatives to appropriate funds for compensation of victims of the protests.
The senate president has been unsteady in his submissions on the #EndSARS protests.