#EndSARS protests: Senate asks Buhari to address nation


The Senate on Tuesday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately address the nation on the raging #ENDSARS protests .

And as the Senate called on the protesting youths to embrace dialogue with the Federal Government in resolving the issues, President Buhari was urged by a former Kebbi State governor and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) minister, Senator Adamu Aliero, to adopt the use of force if dialogue fails.

Checks revealed yesterday that the intervention of the Senate in calling on President Buhari to address the nation as a way of resolving the problems may have prevented a more serious action of declaring emergency rule across country.

A lawmaker who would not want to be mentioned in print said the Senate’s decision disclosed that the President might be forced to use his constitutional powers to impose the state of emergency as guaranteed in section 305 of the constitution.

According to section 305 of the constitution, the President shall have power to issue a Proclamation of a state of emergency only when –
* the Federation is at war;

*the Federation is in imminent danger of invasion or involvement in a state of war;

*there is actual breakdown of public order and public safety in the Federation or any part thereof to such extent as to require extraordinary measures to restore peace and security;

*there is a clear and present danger of an actual breakdown of public order and public safety in the Federation or any part thereof requiring extraordinary measures to avert such danger;

*there is an occurrence or imminent danger, or the occurrence of any disaster or natural calamity, affecting the community or a section of the community in the Federation;

*there is any other public danger which clearly constitutes a threat to the existence of the Federation; or

*the President receives a request to do so in accordance with the provisions of subsection (4) of this section”

Seconding Tuesday’s motion sponsored by Senator Abiodun Olujumi and co-splnsored by all other Senators, Aliero stated:

“While seconding, I want to also suggest very strongly that dialogue should be used to get the youths to suspend the #ENDSARS protest. Where dialogue fails then we should use whatever means possible otherwise it will lead to anarchy.”

He explained that “already, a number of people have been killed and no responsible Government would allow lawlessness to take place while it is in power and for that reason Government should use whatever means possible to ensure that it bans the #ENDSARS movement.

“Of course in liberal democracy like ours protests take place but where it is being hijacked by hoodlums using violence on innocent citizens, Government should use its constitutional powers by ensuring that law and order is maintained.

“It is for that reason that I am supporting this motion and I am urging my colleagues to do the same” Aliero stated.

Adopting the motion, the Senate approved that all tiers of government should put in place machineries to address socio-economic issues affecting youths across the country.

It equally called on the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to embark on a comprehensive reform in the police .

The Senate asked the protesting youths to approach the Constitution Review Committees of the National Assembly and present issues they would want amended .

The Senate advised the President to immediately set up a Judicial Panel of enquiry to probe cases of abuse of human rights by policemen in the past.

Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, who suggested the prayer, informed the Senate that some five notorious Special Squad Anti-Robbery (SARS) operatives who had killed people illegally were yet to be made to face the law adding that there was need to do so immediately .

Most Senators including the Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, testified that they had witnessed cases of police brutality in the past.

Explaining the motion, Senator Olujimi said most of the prayers adopted should serve as wake up calls to government.

She lamented that government had not been proactive in addressing issues pointing out that this government is worse in that regards.

According to her, ignoring the issues raised by the protesters could push the country into more difficult times.

The specific prayers of the motion tagged “#ENDSARS protest: Need for comprehensive and holistic reform” are:

*That all tiers of government put in place and sustain policies and programmes of socio-economic reforms that raise the standard and quality of life of our people, particularly youths who are leaders of tomorrow;

*That the police and other security agencies operate strictly in accordance with the rules of engagement appropriate to a democratic environment that abjures the use of aggressive and brutal force against peaceful protesters;

*That the Inspector General of Police ensures a holistic, comprehensive reforms of the police to include the overhaul of the welfare, training and medical insurance of all members of the Nigerian Police Force;

*That all Nigerians should resort to use of legal and institutional channels of resolving conflicts and disputes instead of misusing security agencies to secure undue advantages;

*That Nigerian youths and the Nigerian citizens should approach the National Assembly Committees on Constitutional Reforms in order to secure far-reaching and holistic amendments that are vital to the restructuring and re-shaping our Federation to make it an inclusive and viable polity;

*That the Federal Government should faithfully and comprehensively implement all the five demands of the #EndSARS movement and protesters;

*That the #EndSARS movement and protesters stop their actions and embrace genuine dialogue in order to give the government the time and space to meet their demands.


Written by