Fred Itua, Ndubuisi Orji, Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja, Layi Olanrewaju, Ilorin, Geoffrey Anyanwu, and Jude Chinedu, Enugu
Worried by the escalating tension and seeming inability of security agents to curtail the EndSARS protests,President Muhammadu Buhari is reportedly considering a declaration of national state of emergency.
A senator told Daily Sun that the president may soon convene a security meeting where a decision on state of emergency would be discussed.
Daily Sun learnt that during a meeting between President Buhari, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila last weekend, the issue came up.
He said the president was urged to stay action and allow governors handle it in their respective domains.
Section 305, Subsection (1) of the 1999 Constitution, states that a “President may by instrument published in the Official Gazette of the Government of the Federation, issue a proclamation of a state of emergency in the federation or any part thereof.”
President Buhari met with the Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi and the Chief of Defense Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, yesterday.
Although there was no official information confirming the agenda of the meeting, as at the time of filing this report, sources within the State House said it was in the bid to tame the escalating violence trailing the #EndSARS protests.
However, the Senate has called on President Buhari to address Nigerians.
The Senate made the call when it considered a motion sponsored by every senator. It said the address would calm the angry youths and set the motion in place for issues raised to be addressed.
Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, while commenting on the motion, said by addressing the country, the President would have succeeded in reducing the growing tension and restore peace.
He said: “He needs to come out and directly talk to Nigerians. He must set up a judicial panel that will address those notorious SARS officers. If this is done, then our people on the street will see us as directly confronting what they’re worrying about.”
Francis Alimikhena, eventually moved a motion to that effect and it was adopted by the entire Senate.
The decision of the Senate followed a two-hour debate on the ongoing protests.
During the debate, a core supporter of President Buhari and senator from Kebbi State, Adamu Aliero, called for the use of force to end the protests if dialogue failed.
The former governor of Kebbi State and a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), while supporting a motion on police reforms sponsored by all the senators, said it was the right thing to do.
“We should use dialogue to force the youths to abandon the protests. But where dialogue fails, the Federal Government should use whatever means possible to force the youths out of the streets. No responnsible government will fold its arms and watch the law disregarded for wanton destruction.”
This was as the protesting youths, again, took to the streets of Abuja, yesterday. The protests which have entered its second week, also turned violent in many parts of Abuja.
Residents and motorists in Kubwa area of Abuja woke up to a fresh round of protests and gunshots, following a face off between protesters and soldiers.
The protesters who erected a barricade at the popular Sokale roundabout area and Winners road were confronted by soldiers who fired shots to scare them off.
Schools in the area and in many parts of Abuja had to shutdown while parents hurriedly picked up their children.
In Apo area, hoodlums masquerading as protesters attacked and burnt several vehicles. Shops were also torched while various degrees of injuries were sustained during the violent protests by hoodlums believed to be pro-SARS.
For the second day, roads leading to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja were shut by protesters.
In the city centre, major entrances to the National Assembly were completely shutdown. Senators and members of the House of Representatives, had to resort to other routes to access the National Assembly.
The protesters who have been protesting at the National Assembly are demanding that Lawan address them. So far, he has refused to meet with them. Instead, he had twice sent representatives who were turned down by the protesters.