A member of House of Representatives, Hon. Abass Adigun, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately set up an unemployment benefit scheme to avert uprising by youths in the country.
Adigun, who is the Vice-Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Air Force, called on Buhari to urgently set up a youth unemployment benefit fund as part of ways to assuage the #EndSARS protesters.
Adigun, who represents Ibadan North-East/Ibadan South-East Federal Constituency, said such fund was not only long overdue.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmaker suggested that the initiative should be funded by about two per cent of the proceeds accruing to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), especially now that the corporation is expected to run profitably with the removal of subsidy.
The lawmaker, who made the suggestion on Monday, said the tumult arising from the current nationwide protest not just against the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the police unit, but also about the long years of decay which has left the youths neglected and uncared for by government.
Adigun called for the scrapping of police barracks across the country and payment of housing allowance to policemen and women. He also called on the Federal Government to fast-track action of the N-Power payment as well as the 774,000 jobs which he said are aimed to engage the youths.
Adigun said, “Life and living in police barracks across the country today are nothing to write home about. Instead of quartering the policemen in barracks, let the Federal Government give them housing allowance and loan to get accommodation in any area of their choice.
“When policemen live in the midst of people, it will enhance community policing and boost security in those areas. I have worked in the US military and I know there is nothing like police barracks. The only thing they have, which is even optional, is accommodation for young couple in the military and it is not in barracks’.
He advised soldiers to be civil and restrict the temptation to brutalise the protesters.
“Rather than brutalise or disperse the protesters, the soldiers should protect them and know that the youths are not fighting a selfish battle. The youths are fighting for the entrenchment of good governance that will usher in good life for all.
“The situation in the country also affects the soldiers other security personnel who are demoralised and ill equipped to effectively and efficiently confront insurgency and banditry in parts of the country.
“Some officers of the disbanded SARS told me that they go extra mile and at their own cost to patronise herbalists for charms and amulets to protect them against hardened criminals, particularly armed robbers, although this cannot justify the extra judicial killings that some of them have been accused of”.