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UN, EU, Biden, others condemn killing of protesters, seek action

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FILE PHOTO: U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres attends a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Russia June 7, 2019. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/File Photo

The United Nations (UN) has condemned the military attacks on youths protesting police brutality in Nigeria, urging an immediate end.

It enjoined the Federal Government to respect peaceful protests and freedom of assembly nationwide.

The global agency made its position known via separate statements by the SecretaryGeneral, António Guterres and his deputy, Amina Mohammed.

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The scribe, in the release issued by his spokesman, Stéphane Dujarric, called on the security forces to exercise maximum restraint in the policing of the demonstrations.

According to Guterres, UN has been following the protests from the onset.

He pledged the readiness of his organisation to support the most populous black nation in addressing the issue at hand.

On her part, Deputy Secretary-General Mohammed, who called for a cessation to human rights violations in her home country, added: “I join the UNSG in stressing the importance of respect for peaceful protests and freedom of assembly, and call on the security forces to exercise maximum restraint.”

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Also, United States presidential candidate of the Democratic Party, Joe Biden, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to halt the violent crackdown on #EndSARSprotesters.

In a statement, the American canvassed dialogue to address citizens’ grievances, insisting that the U.S. must solidarize with Nigerians seeking police reform and the end to corruption.

In a related development, the European Union and the Swedish Embassy in Nigeria have condemned the killing of the campaigners.

A statement by the High Representative/Vice President of the EU, Josep Borrell, sought arrest and trial of the perpetrators.

He stressed that it was important for the current administration to deliver on its promised reforms.

Another statement by the Swedish embassy emphasized regard for human rights and peaceful demonstrations.

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Besides, former Deputy Senate President and Leader, Ike Ekweremadu and Ali Ndume, also flayed the action. They equally demanded justice for the victims.

Ndume charged Buhari on swift tackling of the crisis, urging the protesters to be of good conduct.

In a press release by his media adviser, Uche Anichukwu, the ex-deputy senate president maintained that the rights to peaceful assembly remained guaranteed by the constitution, declaring unilateral the imposition of curfews as unconstitutional.

He, however, advocated arrest and prosecution of criminals, who have taken advantage of the protests to cause mayhem.

Also, yesterday, erstwhile governor of Kaduna State, Ahmed Makarfi, deplored the killings, calling for the prosecution of those behind the dastardly act.

In a statement he personally signed, the one-time interim national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stated: “It is time to take lawful action necessary
to restore peace, shun violence and address all issues raised, and even those not raised by our youth.”

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