By EricJames Ochigbo
Abuja, Oct. 20, 2020 The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila says he will not not sign the 2021 Appropriation Bill if compensation for victims of police brutality is not captured.
Gbajabiamila said this while addressing members of the house at the Tuesday’s plenary in Abuja.
The speaker also said that the budget must meet the reasonable demands of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) before he signs it.
The rep said that there is no better time to rethink the system of funding for higher education in Nigeria than now as the current system does a great disservice to the country.
According to him, we must commit to changing it so that we can make our institutions of higher learning to be citadels where innovation thrives and excellence is given.
Gbajabiamila promised to visit some of the families of those who lost loved ones to police brutality next week and to honour the memory of those lost.
He pledged that the House of Representatives will pass an Electoral Reform Bill in time for the next general elections to continue to improve the process of electing political representatives at all levels.
The lawmaker said that he supports the amendment of the Constitution to ensure that the provisions on fundamental human rights have teeth.
He said that he supports an amendment that will ensure resource control is dealt with equitably so that the next generation of Nigerians does not inherit evident dysfunctions of the current system.
Gbajabiamila urged the youth protesting against police brutality to shun violence and partner government for a new Nigeria.
He noted the maturity of the young people across Nigeria who had led the protests and called for change as midwives of national rebirth.
According to him, you 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 bias motives, who see in this moment as 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 will birth policy and produce legislation.
“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,” he said.