Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila on Tuesday said he would not sign the 2021 budget if the appropriation bill does not make provision for families of victims of SARS brutality.
Speaking during the House’s plenary on Tuesday, the Speaker said the police were not above the law and that they must be accountable to the people.
In his words: “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.”
He said he would be leading a delegation of lawmakers to pay condolence visits to families of some of those killed by the police, stressing that they would be honoured after the visits.
According to him, the National Assembly would establish a system of citizen-led accountability for the Nigerian Police Force because in a democracy the nation sets out to build, the police were not above the citizenry.
Gbajabiamila added that the police were servants of the people and not above the law, but guardians, saying that as the government endeavoured to hold the nation’s police to higher standards of professional conducts, they must also make sure they provided for the welfare of the men and women in uniform.
He appealed to #EndSARS protesters to be cautious in handling the matter, saying that they should not let their righteous cause be hijacked and brought the nation to its kneels, saying that this was the time to move their agitation from the streets.