Some northern governors said they are opposed to the wholesale disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), arguing that SARS has been doing a good job in the fight against insecurity in their region.
The Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum and Plateau State governor, Simon Lalong, disclosed this in Abuja while fielding questions from State House correspondents after he met with President Muhammadu Buhari, Thursday.
According to Lalong, though the president has already approved the scrapping of SARS, the northern governors do not support the outright disbandment as among SARS, there are good cops and bad cops.
Lalong said what was needed was the reformation of the unit to enable it carry out its functions optimally, not a disbandment.
Meanwhile, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, says the National Assembly will ensure that the five demands made to the Executive by #EndSARS protesters are implemented.
Lawan gave the assurance on Thursday at plenary after the Senate was briefed by the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi (APC – Kebbi North) on the intervention by the leadership to wade into the matter.
Giving details into the meeting between the Senate delegation and the protesters on Wednesday, Abdullahi said, “We met with a view to pacifying the protesters and also extending our commiseration with them over what happened.
“They explained that in the course of their peaceful demonstration, they were accosted by some hoodlums, who they alleged were directed by the police to attack them; and how they were able to weather the storm and assemble at the National Assembly to inform us of their travails.
“We sympathised with them and received the oral complaints that they wanted to present to the National Assembly.
“They complained of damages to their vehicles, and some physical injuries that some of them sustained. Fortunately, there were no major injuries or even violent death.
“We implored them to submit a catalogue of their complaints and the damages or injuries that were inflicted upon them, so that these can be conveyed to the appropriate authorities for interventions.
“Today, the minority leader, as we arranged yesterday, was there on the ground to receive the catalogue of complaints.
“Unfortunately those complains are not ready, so whenever they are ready, the leadership is going to compile and submit them to the appropriate authority for attention.
“I just wanted to inform my colleagues, so that we put this particular issue on record.”
In his remarks, Lawan, who described the demands by the protesters as legitimate, said the National Assembly would prevail on the Executive arm of government to ensure expeditious implementation.
He, however, urged the protesters to go back home so as to give the Federal Government the chance to see to the implementation of their demands.
“We took a motion sponsored by Distinguished Senator Oluremi Tinubu on the challenges that we face, especially with respect to the SARS activities across the country and, of course, we took far reaching resolutions.
“Nigerians, let me say, have the right to peaceful demonstration. When they feel very strongly about issues, they can do so to call the attention of the leaders of this country for appropriate action to be taken.
“I believe that the government has responded, SARS has been disbanded and all the five demands of the protesters have been accepted.
“What I’ll urge here is if such demands have been accepted, then we should expedite taking action to actualize them.
“I believe that when protesters demands are met, their goal should have been achieved. Therefore, there is need for our compatriots to go back home and give government the chance to quickly and expeditiously implement those demands.
“Both chambers of the National Assembly have identified with the protests that they are legitimate protests and demands.
“I think the next vital step is for the protests to stop because the initial reasons for the protests have been accepted as facts and government is trying to do everything possible.
“I urge government, and that includes us, that we should push to ensure that those demands of the protesters that the executive side has accepted to implement are implemented as quickly as possible,” Lawan said.(NAN)