AS the ENDSARS protests escalate into violence and disruption of daily activities in Nigeria, the Senate has urged the president, Muhammadu Buhari to break his silence and address the nation over the issue.
“Senate resolves to urge Mr President to address the nation as soon as possible on the issue,” a statement from the Senate read in part.
Buhari has failed to address the citizen on the ENDSARS protest since it began more than ten days ago in some part of the country.
The call was made on Tuesday during the Senate plenary when Biodun Olujimi, the senator representing Ekiti South sought the leave of the Senate to present a Motion on the #EndSARS and the need for comprehensive police reforms.
Speaking on the motion, Ovie Omo Agege, the Deputy Senate President said the ENDSARS protest is one that everyone identifies with because he had also been a victim of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
“All of us in this Chamber are co-sponsors. We need to be made co-sponsors because these children who are on the streets are our children.
“I don’t know of anyone in this country who supports the illegal activity of SARS. I stand here as a victim of SARS.
“Nobody here is a friend of the illegal activities of SARS. When our children went in the streets demanding an end to SARS, I think it is a cry we all identify with and we will continue to identify with provided the protest remains peaceful,” said Omo Agege.
However, he noted that the protest has now been hijacked due to recent happening in some part of the country.
“What we have today right now is that the very good actions of our children is being hijacked. My own children are in the streets of the U.S. participating in this #EndSARS protest.
“I am not sure that my kids are in support of those who have hijacked this protest to go release prisoners. I urge that they should remain lawful. The protest should remain peaceful while they give government the opportunity to address these demands.
“We don’t want any harm to befall our children. We want to appeal to our children and kids to give this government the opportunity to address this issue,” Omo Agege further stated.
Enyinnaya Abaribe, the Senate Minority leader supported the motion and recommended that Buhari addresses the nation over the issue.
“I support this motion. I think part of what is going to resolve this issue is for the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to look at the issue and address the Nation on them.
“And I think that the people will listen knowing that he has now come out directly to deal with the issue.
“I suggest also that in doing that, he must try a way of setting up a judicial panel that will have people that are well respected by the same youth so that they can address a certain issue and that issue is those notorious SARS officers that have been identified and even identified by the presidential panel,” Abaribe said.
After submissions from the senators, the Senate resolved to urge the President to address the nation as soon as possible on the issue, call upon the Police to operate strictly in accordance with the rules of engagement appropriate in a democratic environment and urge all tiers of government to put in place and sustain policies of social-economic reforms that raise the standard of lives of Nigerians.
The Upper Chamber appealed to Nigerians to resort to using legal institutions to resolve disputes and conflicts, stop their actions and embrace genuine dialogue . He also urged the Police to accompany protesters during their peaceful demonstration.