Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila
By Tony Akowe, Abuja
Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila has vowed not to sign off the 2021 budget without adequate provision for compensation of victims of police brutality and demand of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The Speaker described protesting youths across the country as midwives of national rebirth, saying their agitation has brought about a historical moment in the country.
Addressing his colleagues at Tuesday’s plenary, the Speaker said: “You (protesting youths) 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 base motives, who see in this moment 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 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. I thank you, your country thanks you, and history will be kind to you.”
The Speaker said the time has come for the nation to reconsider the system of funding education, stating the current one is a great disservice to the nation.