ALBNI condemns shooting of #EndSARS protesters

…demands criminal prosecution of perpetrators

The Accountable Leadership for Better Nigeria Initiative (ALBNI) has described the Tuesday, October 20 killings of unarmed, peaceful protesters in Lekki and some other locations across the nation as barbaric, dastardly, genocidal and illegal.

In a statement jointly signed by ALBNI’s Executive Director, Remi Adebayo and Secretary of the organization, Ibrahim Dan-Halilu, said unprovoked attacks and murder ofdefenselessand protesters demanding for an overhaul of the Nigeria Police is bothuncivilized and violates the fundamental rightsof Nigerians to peaceful assembly as guaranteed by the Constitution.

It is saddening to note that the government has lost the opportunity provided by the protesters to look into the issues on the list of demands presented to it and take immediate remedial measures that will restore dignity and honour of our security agencies.

Sad enough, instead of providing cover to the young protestors who want the best for their country and people, they were visited with violence and deaths.

“We condemn in unequivocal terms the termination of lives of those youngsters in their prime by the so-called hoodlums, and call for thorough investigation of the circumstances to unravel the perpetrators, and bring them to justice no matter their status, ranks or influence in the society.

“ABNI will not hesitate to build a coalition with civil groups to present formal petition to relevant global human rights protection organisation for trial of the principal actors of the callous act and their sponsors.

“Our organization holds it to be self-evident that every Nigerian citizen has the right to hold opinion, in support of, or against any government and its policies, actions or inactions through peaceful protests, and that right is inalienable, sacrosanct, and inviolable.The essence of every government is to protect lives and cater for the welfare of its citizens”, said ALBNI.

The organization totally rejects and denounces the assertion by Nigerian security of inability to curtail violent attacks on harmless citizens by either hoodlums or security operatives.

“We wish to remind those making these spurious claims that security agents are paid from tax payers’ money to provide protection to all law abiding citizens,” ALBNI stressed.

The group called on President MuhammaduBuhari to lead from the front as he promised during his inaugural speech, by addressing the nation on the #EndSARS protests and the measures taken by security agents in order to douse tension and reassure the citizens of his commitment to addressing the demands made by the protesters.

“We want to reiterate that the president’s silence is not golden at this moment of uncertainty, fear and anger,” ALBNI said

On the #EndInsecurity protests in other parts of the country, the group restates the need for President Buhari to ensure improved security on the lives and properties of citizens across Nigeria.

“The #EndInsecurity protests are equally legitimate as it exposes the vulnerability of the people in the face of multiple threats to life and people’s property in their own nation. The President must bear full responsibility as Commander-in-Chief and must deploy tact towards addressing these ominous signs indicating that all is not well with our dear nation,” Albni said.

The statement charged security agents on the need to exercise professionalism and decorum while handling peaceful protests reminding that rights and life protection, as well as welfare of the people remain enshrined in the Nigerian law.

“Loyalty to the Nigerian Constitution is the bedrock of our hard-earned democracy, as such; loyalty of security agents can only be exercised in tandem with the dictates of such laws which guarantee protection of human lives and dignity. It is unfortunate seeing parents burying their children in this very manner,” Albni stated.

The organization prayed for the repose of souls of the departed asking that God grant the families of the deceased the fortitude to bear the unfortunate loss.

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