ADC, Yoruba groups flay FG over killing of protesters
More Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora have called on the Federal Government to investigate the killing of youths, who were demanding end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) brutality in peaceful protests across the country by yet-to-be-identified soldiers.
In a communiqué yesterday, Chairman of Africa Democratic Congress (ADC-DN Americas), Dr. Sonny Nnamchi, said it was absolutely necessary and patriotic to speak out against all the injustices and extra-judicial killing of innocent Nigerians and peaceful protesters.
The statement jointly signed by Chairman of ADC-DN Asia and Middle East, Victor Ikoli; Chairman of ADC-DN, Oceania-Pacific, Sunny Idehen; and Dr. Fatoye Olufemi, the party noted that said no civil society could tolerate what happened at the Lekki Tollgate last Tuesday. It described the hostilities against youths as an act of violence.
“We of ADC-DN worldwide strongly condemn the shooting of innocent protesters at Lekki Tollgate and several other hotspots across the country. There is no excuse for such barbaric act.
“This shows a clear leadership vacuum in Nigeria today. The youth rightly expressed their frustrations and great disappointment and hopelessness in the way the country has been woefully mismanaged for the past 70 years.”
In another statement, Secretary General Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE), Dr. Kunle Olajide condemned the killings and appealed to the youths to sheathe their swords and go off the streets to give room for negotiation.
According to Olajide, what the country actually needs is a new constitution that will recognise the diversity of the nation and return power to federating units.
The President, Yoruba Ronu Leadership Forum, Mr. Akin Malaolu, said the group had watched with great concern the events related to the EndSARS protest, lamenting that the struggle, which started on a peaceful note against widespread reports of police brutality morphed into a non-violent agitation against general harsh socio-economic realities in the country with the protesters tabling their grievances.
The forum said the protest was going peacefully until Tuesday, October 20, when the Lagos State government imposed a curfew on the state.
It stated: “Unfortunately, some armed men in military fatigues arrived at the Lekki Tollgate, the epicentre of the protest, to forcefully break up the gathering in the evening. Live gunshots were fired. Some died. Many were injured. By the time the military men retreated, the peaceful protest had taken on a different outlook.”
The forum decried the role played by rogue elements in the security network, from those who procured touts to break the ranks of civil protesters, to those operating as death squads. “We urge the president to take ownership of this challenge and get to the bottom of it to preserve whatever is left of his good reputation.”