The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has asked #EndSARS protesters to leave the streets, saying the federal government has heard their complaints.
Speaking after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday, the nation’s number four citizen said government needs time to implement the demands of the protesters.
He counselled the young persons on the streets to take a break, saying they may return to the streets if things do not take a positive turn after some weeks.
“We have met with the President and I can assure you that there is no bigger democrat than Mr President. He gave us a listening ear, the same that he always gives Nigerians,” he said.
“He accepted absolutely everything that Nigerians asked for. I have heard the stories that we have heard ended SARS like four times before. That is what people are saying.
“Like I said, you have never heard it from Mr President, but now, he has said so. So, let us tarry a little while. Let us sit back. We have got what we want, let us sit back and see what happens. If you like, you begin your protests again if nothing happens in two weeks.”
Gbajabiamila said he does not want the protesters to lose all what they have gained so far, adding that refusing to halt the demonstration could lead to such.
“Let us not continue this thing and lose the plot. That is what I don’t want… I don’t want our youths to lose the plot. They have done so well in terms of expressing their grievances and it is important we don’t get side-tracked,” he said.
“Of course, there are tangential issues that they have discussed after the EndSARS. We have spoken with Mr President and he is looking at everything.
“Some of these things are policy matters that are not going to happen overnight. You are not going to have electricity overnight; it is not going to happen tomorrow. Free road is not going to happen tomorrow.
“It is a process and the important thing is that the government has heard you loud and clear. It is a continuous engagement. We will be engaging our youths in matters of policy and communicate with Mr President as well on what needs to be done.
“So, again, let us not lose the plot, let us remain focused. Points have been made like never before in the history of Nigeria and that is kudos to the young men and women out there.”
“My advice is that even if there is trust deficiency, let us, for whatever it is worth, trust government for what it has done now. It has ended SARS, nobody can argue that. SARS is ended completely, never to be heard anybody. We talking about SWAT now.
“We interrogated the IGP about three days ago and we asked the question and he explained to us that in any security agency, particularly the police, if there is a special unit and you disband it, you don’t leave a vacuum. It is apparently a police code anywhere in the world that you don’t leave a vaccum, it has to be filled and that was why he came up with SWAT.
“Having come up with SWAT, the criteria, the engagement, the personnel, what they can do and what they cannot do, they are complete departure from what SARS was meant to operate. “Let us remain focus and stay on track. Let us work with government. We are all on the same page. It is not you against us. We are all on one page and if we are on one page, we will get the desired result.”
— Femi Gbajabiamila (@femigbaja) October 18, 2020