As the #ENDSARS protest get more widespread, Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker of the House of Representatives says he will not sign the 2021 budget if there are no provisions made to compensate the families of victims of police brutality in the last decade.
He made this statement on Tuesday during the House Plenary Session which held at the National Assembly in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
He stated that “I will not sign off on a 2021 budget that does not have adequate provisions to compensate those who have suffered violence from police in the last decade,”
The Speaker representing Lagos from Surulere Federal Constituency insist that the Nigeria Police is not above the laws of the land, adding that they must be accountable to the citizens.
He echoed the assurance of the National Assembly to “institute a system of citizen-led accountability for the Nigerian Police Force because in a democracy we have set out to build, the police are not above the citizenry.”
“They are servants of the people. The police are not above the law, they are its guardians. As we endeavour to hold our nation’s police to higher standards of professional conducts, we must also make sure we provide for the welfare of the men and women in uniform,” he added.
The Speaker advice the #ENDSARS protesters not to give room to thode with bad intentions to hijack the protest and pull the nation nto chaos. Gbajabiamila commended the protesters for taking a bold step to call for the end of police brutality and he solicit for discussion on how to make progress from where we currently are in the country.
He promised some measures to address the problem of police brutality in the country which includes drafting new legislation that enables a system to hold erring police officers to account for their conduct in the performance of their duties.
He pledged that a draft legislation which will be enacted in partnership with the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) will be ready for consideration within a month.