There’s outrage in Nigeria and around the world after soldiers opened fire on peaceful anti-police brutality protesters in the country’s largest city Lagos on Tuesday night.
Following the despicable act, the United Nations has called on the Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government to put an end to human rights violations and killings of citizens.
Deputy Secretary-general of the UN Amina Mohammed took to twitter and said “@UN & I are following the protests in #Nigeria calling for an end to human rights violations. I join the #UNSG in stressing the importance of respect for peaceful protests & freedom of assembly & call on the security forces to exercise maximum restraint.
“I’ve been asked about the ongoing protests in Nigeria and I can tell you that the Secretary-General is following the protests in Nigeria calling for the dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad and an end to human rights violations allegedly committed by security agencies.
“The Secretary-General stresses the importance of respect for peaceful protests and freedom of assembly and calls on the security forces to exercise maximum restraint in the policing of the demonstrations,” Mohammed said earlier in a statement.
In a tweet, former US secretary of state and presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton asked President Muhammadu Buhari to stop the killing of the #EndSARS protesters.
‘I’m calling on @mbuhari and the @hqnigerianarmy to stop killing young #EndSARS protesters,” Clinton wrote, adding the hashtag, #StopNigeriaGovernment.
Her words were echoed by model and businesswoman Naomi Campbell, who in a tweet urged the Nigerian president to “please stop the violence that is killing the Bright and promising future of Nigeria.”
In another tweet, she called on Buhari to “be the head of state that sets an example!”
“STOP POLICE BRUTALITY!! STOP THE SPECIAL ANIT ROBBERY SQUAD. #ENDSARSNOW,” she wrote.
Scenes of protestors removing a bullet from a wound apparently inflicted on a demonstrator were broadcast in a live video on Instagram, viewed by more than 100,000 accounts. Human rights group Amnesty International said it had obtained credible reports of deaths.
In a tweet, Nigerian star Burna Boy reached out to the UN and Amina Mohammed, saying that the “situation in Lagos is now out of control!!! You guys need to intervene even though I know there’s a protocol. This is SERIOUS!!”
Other notable figures condemning the attack on protesters at Lekki toll gate include footballer Idion Ighalo, who said he was “sad and heartbroken” at the developments.
“Ngerian government, you guys are a shame to the world for killing your own citizens…sending the military to kill [unarmed] protesters…” the footballer said in a video posted to social media.
Musician Femi Kuti wrote: “Miltary for unarmed protesters to kill our children UNACCEPTABLE. #lekkitollgate WAS VERY PEACEFUL.”
Lagos state authorities have promised an investigation into the shooting and the Army has denied any involvement.
Abel Ejikeme, Rita Osakwe
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