Hope for EndSARS victims as Senate passes bill
A bill to compensate victims of the #EndSARS protest has been approved by the Senate for second reading.
Sponsored by Senator Gershom Bassey (PDP), Senator representing Cross River South Senatorial District, the bill titled “A Bill for an Act to Amend the National Emergency Management Agency Act” seeks to provide for the establishment of the #EndSARS Victims Compensation Fund.
In his remark, the lawmaker argued that the victims have been left to continually groan under the pain of injuries inflicted by hoodlums during the protest.
He opined, “Distinguished colleagues, you may recall that as a result of the nationwide protests in October 2020, judicial panels of inquiry were constituted to address the demands of protesters and compensation for verified victims of the EndSARS protest.
“The findings of the judicial panels of inquiry and the Senate Joint Committee on #EndSARS revealed the killing of protesters and destruction of private and public properties by rampaging hoodlums, who seized and took over the protest, vandalizing and looting valuable assets.
“However, the implementation of the recommendations of all the panels and committees regarding compensation has been very discouraging.”
According to the senator, the eventual establishment of the fund, as well as the implementation of the recommendations of the judicial panels of inquiry and the Senate Joint Committee on EndSARS, would undoubtedly placate the victims of the 2020 EndSARS nationwide protest.
Therefore, he urged the upper legislative chamber in his prayer to support the bill so as to bring succour to the victims of the protest.
He said “Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, it is my prayer that you support this amendment bill that seeks to bring hope to the victims of the 2020 EndSARS protest”.
The #EndSARS movement began in October 2020, when thousands of primarily young Nigerians flocked to the streets to protest police brutality, particularly that of the now-defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
The peaceful protest lasted for days across the country until it was hijacked by hoodlums, prompting the military to intervene, particularly in Lagos, which was the center of the protest.
Following the debate, Senate President Ahmed Lawan referred the bill to the Senate Committee on Special Duties for additional legislative input, with a report expected back in plenary in one week.