The #EndSARS protesters on Thursday besieged the main entrance to the National Assembly complex, to demand the probe of brutality by the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit of the Nigerian Police Force.
The protesters mainly youths who carried placards with various inscriptions, blocked vehicular movement into the National Assembly while chanting songs of solidarity were restricted from entering into the Complex by the security agents.
They however remained at the gate for an hour till they were received by
the leadership of the National Assembly represented by the Senate Majority Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, and Senate Minority Leaders, Enyinnaya Abaribe.
Addressing the National Assembly Leaders, the spokesman of the group lamented that SARS operatives sent thugs to attack them and in the process, they damaged their cars and other belongings and demanded that the lawmakers should repair their cars and ensure that the erring officers were brought to book.
He said: ”These thugs came across us and began to attack our people, peaceful protesters. They damaged our cars, injured some of us. If not because we are very courageous Nigerian youths and resilient generation we would have ran away but made sure they got some beatings before we took them to the hospital, they damaged over six cars here, we brought only the ones that we could, they stole our wallets and phones.
”The Nigerian Police is a public institution that should protect the people not send thugs to attack us. We know your chambers have constitutional command over the Nigerian police, we have tolled these cars to you so you can fix them for us. We don’t want money or promises, we just want you to take the cars and tell us when you will fix them. We will come back and collect them. We are asking you to fix them with taxpayers’ money. We can’t live in a country where thugs become the king and protesters cannot protest peacefully. We cannot live in a country where we cannot demand better.”
Responding, Senate Majority Leader, Abdullahi assured the protesters that the Senate will ensure they get justice, saying: ”We have listened and seen a lot of challenges which your spokesperson have narrated.
“We appreciate and sympathize with you over what happened and I assure you that I and my colleagues will present your catalog of demands jointly to the floor of the Senate and they will direct on what to do and we will also ensure that appropriate actions are taken to ensure that they have restitution and those who are responsible for the indignities are brought to book.”
Also, the Minority Leader, Abaribe on his part while commending their peaceful disposition, also assured them that their demands will be met.
Abaribe said: ”Give us the photographs and everything you have written so as to present it on the floor of the Senate and a decision will be taken. Never mind that there are some miscreants within the security forces that may want to cause trouble, we want to thank you for not falling for that trap, because they want to push you into a trap and next thing is they start to shoot you and we don’t want that. We want a peaceful and progressive Nigeria.
”We assure you we will do that. In the legislature, we must discuss it and everyone will agree, even if you don’t meet us, I’m going to send one of my staff to stand here in the morning and be able to collect the document from you and escort you to my office. You can come we will put you in the gallery so you will hear what we will say. So that you know that both chambers of the National Assembly are with you in all these you are seeking.”