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#EndSARS: Compensate victims, rebuild damaged infrastructure, Senate urges FG



Senate has called on the federal government to make adequate compensation to states where public institutions and private property were attacked during the recent two-week #EndSARS protests by the youths.
The upper legislative chamber also urged the government to, as a matter of urgency, rebuild infrastructure destroyed by hoodlums during the attacks.
In its resolutions following separate motions moved by Senators Biodun Olujimi (PDP Ekiti South) and Gershom Bassey (PDP Cross River North), the Senate further charged government at all levels to be proactive in addressing the interests of the youths in the country to prevent reoccurrence of such nationwide protests which later turned violent.
Senator Olujimi in her own motion sought for resolutions that will make federal government compensate Lagos State Government for the losses estimated at about a trillion Naira, suffered from wanton destructions of properties that took place between October 21 to 23, 2020 after the Lekki Shooting of Tuesday, October 20, 2020.
She in one of the prayers, specifically
urge the federal government to establish a Special Economic Assistance to Lagos State in recognition of its strategic socio-economic significance by paying a financial grant-in-aid of not less than one percent of the share of revenue allocated to the federal government in the Federation Account each year.
But the Senate through submissions made by other Senators and similar prayers sought by Senator Gershom Bassey for Cross Rivers State Government, extended the prayers to all affected states and Institutions.
Other resolutions adopted  by the Senate from the two motions were the mandate given the Committee on National Security and Intelligence, Defence, Police Affairs, Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters to investigate the invasion of all the affected places across the country by the hoodlums and losses suffered.
It further urged the federal government to assist in the reconstruction, rehabilitation and repair of properties and infrastructure destroyed both public and private during the mayhem.
While Olujimi in her motion chronicled places destroyed in Lagos as the Palace of the Oba of Lagos; Lagos High Court, Igbosere; ‘Oyingbo-BRT terminus; Ojodu Berger BRT terminus; Vehicle Inspection Office, Ojodu Berger; Lagos State Public Works Corporation, Ojodu Berger; Lagos City Hall and Circle Mall, Lekki; numerous luxury shops in Surulere.
“The Nation Newspaper, TVC and Shoprite Lekki including 27 BRT vehicles estimated to cost $200,000 each and another 57 BRT vehicles estimated to cost $100,000 each, all totalling about N3.9 billion.
“25 police stations burnt from Orile, Amukoko, Layeni, llasamaja, Ikotun, Ajah, Igando, Elemoro, Makinde, Onipanu, Ebute Ero, Pen-Cinema, Isokoko, Alade, Cele, Igbo Elerin, Shibiri, Gbagada, Onilekere, Makoko, Daleko, Asahun, Makinyo, Amuwo-Odofin, Anti-Kidnapping and  Surulere.”
Senator Bassey in his own motion lamented that: “a group of vandals on  24th October 2020,  invaded over 120 properties in Calabar and vandalized, looted, burnt down some high value properties belonging to individuals, the state and federal government;
“The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) Office, West African Examination Council (WAEC) Office, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Office, the brand new state of the art Calabar International Convention Centre (ICC), the sprawling Tinapa Business Resort, the Federal Neuro Psychiatric Hospital, the Infectious Diseases Hospital amongst others and private residence mostly of past and present Federal Law Makers were vandalized, looted or burnt;
“Convinced that the mayhem of 24th October was an invasion of the sovereignty of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, it was premeditated, selective and targeted at highly valued federal and state government infrastructure and federal lawmakers”.
In his contribution, Senator Abdullahi Adamu (APC Nasarawa West), stressed the need for the upper legislative chamber to wait for the outcome of the judiciary panels set up on the aftermath of the protests by some state governments so as not to preempt their findings and recommendations.
Also, a former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, said the unfortunate incidents provided two lessons for leaders in the country to learn.
According to him, the first of such lessons is for government at all levels, create jobs for the youths in preventing reoccurrence of such protest while the second lesson is the urgent need for decentralization of the nation’s security architecture, particularly the Police.
“This is the time for us to stop deceiving ourselves that a centralized  police structure can give the country the required effective security.
“Had it been state Police was in existence during the protests, hoodlums wouldn’t have overrun the affected states, the way they did,” he said.
But the Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, in his remarks after adoption of all the prayers, said there was the need for Nigerians to bring confidence of Nigeria Police on provision of internal security across the country.
He added that the Senate like other Nigerians, is patiently waiting for the outcome of the various judicial panel of enquiry set up by the affected state government in preventing reoccurrence of such mayhem.

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