The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) on Wednesday accused former Senate President, Bukola Saraki of seeking to make political capital from the first anniversary of the Lekki toll gate shooting of EndSARS protesters by “painting the Federal Government black”.
He had said, “It is worrying that despite the acceptance of the ‘5 for 5 Demands’, nothing has really been done to resolve the issues that caused the protests in the first place.
“None of the policemen accused of torturing and extrajudicially murdering Nigerian citizens have been brought to justice, there has been no marked improvement in the funding or quality of equipment available to the Nigerian Police Force and these incidents of torture continue in many security facilities nationwide.
“Furthermore, none of the perpetrators of the attacks on Nigerians exercising their rights to peaceful assembly have been arrested or prosecuted, despite many of them being identified.”
Reacting in a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, BMO said Saraki’s statement varies with all that the Federal Government has done in addressing the issues that led to the EndSARS protest.
According to the group, “First, we need to remind Saraki that in the aftermath of the protests, the Federal Government scrapped the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) as an immediate response.
“The Federal Government also set up the Police Trust Fund which will ensure that one per cent of the federal revenue is paid into the account; the government has also voted N13.3Billion for community policing across the country as a way of bringing policing closer to the people and ensuring adequate security, as well as initiated plans through the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission to upwardly review police salaries and allowances”.
BMO further stated that in the aftermath of the EndSARS protests, the Federal and State governments empanelled commissions of enquiry in different States of the country to unearth the remote and immediate causes of the riots, and recommend measures to bring about lasting solutions to the problems associated with the riots.
“Since then the panels have sat in a transparent manner, and even awarded several millions of naira as compensations to victims of the riots, and the payments are being made as directed by the panels without let or hindrance.
“We also want to remind Dr. Bukola Saraki that in his attempt to capitalise on the END SARS for partisan political gain, he wrongly admitted that protesters were killed at the Lekki Tollgate, yet till today there has not been any verifiable evidence from any quarter that any protester was mowed down by the military or the police at the Lekki toll gate.
“We, therefore, find it disingenuous and cynical of the former Senate President to descend into the arena with the only intent to make political capital out of a national issue, and paint the Federal Government black,” it said.
BMO insisted that following the EndSARS protests the Federal Government is committed to addressing the concerns of Nigerian youths in various ways and has remained responsive and responsible in addressing issues that affect them, and the steps taken are visible for all to see, except for cynics like Saraki.