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Commonwealth Medical Association condemns killing of protesters in Nigeria

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The Commonwealth Medical Association (CMA) has condemned the killing of defenseless civilian protesters on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at the Lekki Peninsula Toll Plaza in Lagos State.

President of CMA and former President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Osahon Enabulele, in a statement, yesterday, described the shooting of #ENDSARS protesters against police brutality, as unfortunate

He called for complete overhaul of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) in parts of the country, insisting that firing of live bullets at unarmed protesting civilians, which resulted in several deaths and fatal injuries among the protesters, was the height of insensitivity in a democracy.

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Enabulele, who is also Chief Consultant Family Physician at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Edo State, said besides these despicable acts which led to several casualties, the CMA also viewed the prevention of ambulance services and medical care for the injured victims as unfortunate and unacceptable.

He said while the CMA was not currently in a position to make a definite statement on the pre-morbid state and motives of the elements behind the killings, the body regretted the loss of lives and condemned the unwarranted murder of protesters who were exercising their fundamental human rights.

“The CMA commiserates with the families of those who were killed at the Lekki Toll gate and other parts of Nigeria, and prays for the repose of their souls,” he said.

Citing the enormous casualties and its implications for the nation’s health and security, he urged the Federal Government to urgently calm the situation by ordering an end to further intimidation, assaults and killing of the protesters.

“Government must ensure that criminals and hoodlums who are attacking peaceful demonstrators should be arrested and prosecuted.

“It must also ensure strict adherence to existing international treaties on fundamental human rights, and International treaties on treatment of civilians, as enshrined in the 1949 Geneva Declaration,” he added.

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Enabulele also charged the Federal Government to foot the bill of the medical care of injured victims, guarantee unfettered access to physicians and healthcare workers to care for them and prosecute the culprits who shot the protesters.

“The CMA commended all physicians and healthcare workers who have offered to provide medical care to the injured victims, and urges the NMA to sustain its leadership role in ensuring full medical and psychological rehabilitation of the injured.

He enjoined all parties to exercise restraint and embrace peaceful means, constructive and altruistic dialogue, respect for the rule of law, human rights and dignity of human lives.

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