By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
The Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) has called for an international inquiry into the reprehensible killing and maiming of harmless #ENDSARS protesters by the Nigerian government.
CAPPA, in reaction to the Lekki toll gate shootings yesterday (October 20) and similar incidents across the country that led to yet to be ascertained number of deaths, said the situation was deplorable and requires urgent intervention.
Protesters have been carrying out peaceful demonstrations calling for the disbanding of the dreaded Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police for their high-handedness and extrajudicial killings across the country since October 8. The protests have spread from Lagos to Oyo, Osun, Edo, Ekiti, Abuja, Kaduna, Plateau, and other states of the federation.
The Lekki incident followed the imposition of a curfew on Lagos and the state governments alleged invitation of the military to chase the protesters from the Lekki Toll Gate grounds which they had occupied for days. Social media accounts and videos making the rounds indicated that the armed soldiers stormed the venue around 7pm yesterday, hemmed the protesters in and started shooting sporadically, killing no less than seven persons according to initial press reports though new facts show the numbers may be far higher. Some accounts say the soldiers went away with many of the dead and prevented ambulances from conveying the injured to hospitals.
The attacks were allegedly preceded by the removal of the Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) at the Toll Gate, and the switching off of the lights in the vicinity by unknown persons.
In a statement issued in Lagos CAPPA said: “the disturbing images of military men mowing down peaceful and harmless #Endsars protesters is totally uncivil and unacceptable. Perpetrators of this premeditated murder must be identified and brought to book”.
CAPPA Executive Director, Akinbode Oluwafemi said: “We are still in shock and deeply saddened that the Nigerian Government decided to draft trigger happy soldiers to forcefully suppress youths waving Nigerian flags and demanding reforms that would be beneficial to all Nigerians, including the soldiers themselves”
Oluwafemi pointed out that with ample evidence from the live feed from the scene of the mayhem, Nigerians have every reason to doubt government sincerity in addressing the situation, even as he added that since the protesters in Lekki have been converging they have been very civil and organised in their occupation of the toll gate hence the attacks were totally unwarranted.