Saturday, October 24, 2020

#LekkiMasacre: CSCSD condemns army deployment, insists on national peace - ITREALMS

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The Civil Society Coalition on Sustainable Development (CSCSD) South-West strongly and unequivocally condemns the deployment of men of the Nigerian Army to shoot at unarmed young peaceful #EndSARS protesters, resulting to many of the protesters sustaining serious injuries of various degrees while some were reported to have lost their lives at Lekki toll gate on Tuesday 20th of October, 2020, reports 

The right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly is guaranteed in the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended. Therefore, it is a gross violation of Nigerian’s Constitution by the government to have deployed armed soldiers to disrupt and open fire on the peaceful protesters. 

A press statement available to ITREALMS, the Southwest Zonal Coordinator, CSCSD, Martin-Mary Falana decried that majority of aftermath violence occured in South-West and called out on General Muhammadu Buhari, retired, to address the concerns of these young Nigerians who are merely exercising their constitutional rights.

They also also decried the long silence of the president before his address on Thursday, saying it was no golden. 

The President, CSCSD said must commission a full panel of enquiry into series of allegations bordering on conspiracy in some quarters to unleash terror on these young Nigerian peaceful protesters and kill them possibly.

Government must heed to the demands of these young Nigerians by not only scraping the SARS which has become the agent of killing, brutality, harassment and extortion of Nigerians but also the newly named SWAT whose constitution was too hasty. 

Also, all officers involved in these dastardly and unprofessional act must be made to face the full wrath of the law.

As matter of urgency, the group advised that Buhari addresses the MD Yusuf Police reform committee report and fully implement the recommendations contained therein. 

"Government officials at all levels must put in place; a scheme that will address the neglect of the Nigerian youths and create opportunities for every Nigerian youth to fulfil their full potentials," she said.

Falana stressed that according to the Sustainable Development Goal 16, peace, stability, human rights and effective governance based on the rule of law are important conduits for sustainable development. 

"We are living in a country that is increasingly divided. Some individuals enjoy sustained levels of affluence, security and prosperity while others fall into seemingly endless cycles of poverty, conflict and violence. No nation can survive without enduring PEACE! The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to significantly reduce all forms of violence, and and challenge the governments and the communities to find lasting solutions to conflict and insecurity. This is by no means inevitable and must be addressed.

"The South West is the worst hit, with these aftermaths of government’s wrong actions and inactions. The Southwest Chapter of CSCSD fully identifies with the pain and struggle of the Nigerian youths and reaffirms its unalloyed support for their cause. We will therefore be engaging governments at all levels from time to time to monitor and prompt the quick and timely implementation and execution of government promises to the Nigerian youths.

"We also call on the Nigerian youths to please ensure peaceful protests and never to allow shady and questionable individuals who may cause violence to mar the efforts already registered for a new Nigeria," the group said, urging for an #EndSARS brutality.

Ayo Midele/Editor

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