The National Rescue Movement (NRM) in Lagos State on Wednesday appealed to all aggrieved youths involved in the ongoing #EndSARS protests and security agents to sheathe their swords and allow peace to reign.
The party, in a statement by Mr Akin Olukunle, its Lagos East Senatorial District candidate in the forthcoming bye-elections, condemned alleged attacks on peaceful protesters at the Lekki Toll Plaza by soldiers on Tuesday evening.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the #EndSARS protests in Lagos took another dimension on Tuesday evening when soldiers allegedly shot protesters at the Lekki Toll Plaza for defying a 24-hour curfew imposed on the residents of the state by Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
The development escalated into violence in Lagos on Wednesdaythat led to a massive destruction and razing down of public and private facilities by some aggrieved youths.
Olukunle, who sued for peace, said: “It is absurd and unreasonable on the part of any responsible authority vested with the management of the toll gate to feign ignorance of the actions preceding the unwarranted shooting.
“These include the removal of the CCTV monitors and power outage and/or flood light adorning the gate some hours before the commencement of the curfew earlier announced by the Lagos State Government.
“The attack on the peaceful protesters was unjustifiable, but let the aggrieved youths and security agencies sheathe their swords,” Olukunle, a former General Manager, Public Affairs of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), said.
He said that the law enforcement agencies had the option of using water cannons, tear gas and so many related but non-lethal, tested methods to quell and disperse the protesters.
According to him, the attacks on peaceful protesters, who have been conducting themselves in an organised and decent manner for about 12 days at Lekki, is unacceptable and condemnable in our democracy.
“We wonder what happened to government’s position on rule of engagement of the military not to resort to shooting of the people in crisis situations, particularly, where their demonstration remained non-violent.
” We express sincere condolences to the bereaved families and pray for the repose of the souls of the departed and speedy recovery by all the injured persons in the attacks across the country,” he said.
Olukunle also condemned the hijack of the #EndSARS peaceful protests by miscreants in Lagos and some other parts of the country and the attendant mass destruction of lives, public and private properties by the hoodlums.
The NRM candidate urged all the aggrieved youth not to take law into their own hands.
He advised them to collaborate with governments at all levels and security operatives toward finding a lasting solution to all their demands and grievances bordering on police brutality and good governance.
According to him, the Federal Government and the Lagos State Government should expedite actions on a judicial inquiry which will get to the root of Tuesday’s shooting and identify the perpetrators.
“We plead with governments at all levels to promptly accede, not only to the germane issues raised by the protesting youths, but the yearnings of Nigerian masses.
“The youth have been at the receiving end of obnoxious and harsh policies of successive governments in the country in the recent past,” Olukunle said. (NAN)