The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, has threatened not to sign off the 2021 budget, if it does not include adequate provisions to compensate those who have suffered violence and brutality at the hands of the police and if it does not meet reasonable demands of Academic Staff Union of Universities, to which government has already acceded.
Gbajabiamila stated this on Tuesday while delivering his remarks on the nationwide #EndSARS protests and the response of the House to the calls for wholesale reforms of the Nigeria police force at the resumption of plenary.
The Speaker lamented that the current system did a great disservice to children and the country, hence they must commit to changing it so that institutions of higher learning can be citadels where innovation thrives, and excellence reigns.
He disclosed that a bill which will hold erring operatives accountable for their actions was currently underway.
He also said that he and some members of the House will next week visit some of the families of those who had lost loved ones to police brutality.
He said, ”Let me say now for the records to reflect, and in the expectation that I would be held to account. I will not sign off on a 2021 Budget that does not include adequate provisions to compensate those who have suffered violence and brutality at the hands of the police in Nigeria in the last two decades.
I will not sign off on a budget that does not meet the reasonable demands of the ASUU, to which Government has already acceded. With my colleagues in the House of Representatives, I will visit over the next week, some of the families of those who have lost loved ones to police brutality and when we come back, we will work together to honour the memory of those we have lost.
”The President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olumide Akpata constituted a Committee, led by the eminent Professor Deji Adekunle, to work with the House of Representatives to develop a Bill for the House within the timeline we have pledged. The Committee has resumed its assignment.
Two weeks from now, the House will receive and immediately begin considerations.”
Speaking further, Gbajabiamila assured that the House will pass an Electoral Reform Bill in time for the next general selection to improve the process of electing political representatives at all levels.