#EndSARS: I Won’t Sign Off 2021 Budget Without Compensation For Police Brutality Victims – House Of Reps Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has vowed not to sign off the 2021 budget if adequate provisions are not made for victims of police brutality within the last ten years.
He said this while speaking during plenary on Tuesday October 20, adding that he will also not sign a budget that does not meet the demands of striking members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The Speaker described protesting youths across the country as midwives of national rebirth, saying their agitation has brought about a historical moment in the country.
Addressing his colleagues at plenary, Gbajabiamila said;
“You (protesting youths) have moved a nation to action, and now you must join in doing the hard work of making real the vision of a more just, more prosperous, and more resilient nation.
We see your true cause. Please do not allow your righteous cause to be hijacked by those with base motives, who see in this moment an opportunity to pursue vendettas, to spread division, exploit the many existing fissures that exist in our society and bring our nation to its knees.
You have raised your voices and marched to demand a better Nigeria. From Abuja to Washington, to Calgary and London, your voices have been heard.
Do not allow anybody to convince you that to withdraw from the streets now is to concede defeat.
This is the time to move your agitation from the chaos of the streets to the painstaking deliberations and strategic partnerships that birth policy and produce legislation.
The Speaker added;
It is time to mobilise your voices in support of specific policy interventions that will deliver on our shared objectives of national renewal and a country that reflects the best of us. I thank you, your country thanks you, and history will be kind to you.”
He said the time has come for the nation to reconsider the system of funding education, stating the current one is a great disservice to the nation.
Gbajabiamila speaking about ongoing ASUU strike, expressed;
There is no better time to rethink the system of funding for higher education in Nigeria. The current system does a great disservice to our children and our country and we must commit to changing it so that we can free our institutions of higher learning to be citadels where innovation trhrives and excellence is a giving.
The speaker also said he and his colleagues will within the next few weeks, visit some of the families of those who have lost loved ones to police brutality.