63 legislators committed to setting agenda for progressive laws in Nigeria; initiating progressive laws and speaking against anti-people bills in the National Assembly yesterday signed a petition demanding for justice as well as an end to the killings of the end SARS protesters.
By Oscar Onojighofia
In a statement signed by 63 of the National Assembly members which was made available to this media house, the Legislators noted that they have followed carefully the #ENDSARS protest by young people across Nigeria for the past two weeks and the killings in several cities including Jos, Kaduna, Abuja, Benin and Lagos and noted that in the recent past, this has been the most elaborate protest that has united young Nigerians across geography, ethnic nationality and religion.
The National Assembly members further observed that the protest goes beyond the excesses of the police formation called Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) hence they said that e protests are as a result of frustration by Nigerian youths who have seen governments at all level fail to provide public goods and opportunities for them to lead a meaningful life.
The National Legislators further noted that they recognise that over the years, socio-economic indicators in Nigeria have remained precarious. Moreover, the Legislators avered that the Fragile states index has consistently classified Nigeria among the 15 worst states that are failing across the world.
Meanwhile the 63 Legislators said they are appalled by the reliance on force, intimidation and manipulation by government and security agencies in an attempt to break the protest rather than utilising globally recognised methods of policing in a democratic society.
Besides, the Legislators who said they are enraged by reports of shooting of unarmed, defenceless protesters by military officers at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos after the lights were turned off and CCTV cameras put off, called on the President to give an immediate order to all security agencies to stop shooting at protesters.
The National Legislators further condemned the action by government and security agencies describing it as inexcusable and totally unacceptable.
Furthermore the national Legislators said that here was no justification whatsoever for security officials who are paid with tax payers’ money to kill unarmed protesters.
While calling on the President to address the nation and take concrete actions to respond to the demand of the protesters, they urge Mr President to respect and protect the right to protest and publicly invite the leaders of the protesters to an urgent dialogue while assuring them of their safety and that outcomes would be expeditiously implemented.
The National Legislators equally want all the perpetrators of this dastardly act as well as those who gave the orders to be brought to account in a transparent and accountable manner. They therefore called on the President to immediately identify all the officers involved and prosecute them for murder while condemning the attack and burning of properties of innocent citizens and government.
Also, the Legislators called on government to respond expeditiously to demand of the protesters and other lingering issues of addressing the security architecture of the country and addressing revelations of corruption in many government agencies.