Transition Monitoring Groups (TMG) has joined in condemning the killing of unarmed #EndSARS peaceful protesters by the men of the Nigerian Army, particularly at the Lekki Tollgate on Tuesday, October 21.
TMG, in a statement by Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, the Chairperson, described the army’s action as a “blatant abuse of constitutional power and disregard for established rule of law on the part of government and those in authority, as is exemplified in the deliberate violation of peoples’ right to associate and assemble and to protest peacefully.”
The group called on President Muhammadu Buhari to, as the Commander-in-Chief, address the nation and expose those behind the killing of unarmed protesters and also promise his administration’s faithfulness to the rule of law.
According to TMG, “We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to show accountability as President and Commander-in-Chief and address the nation on his knowledge of the individuals and or institutions of government involved in the issuing of the order to murder unarmed protesters across the country.
“We call on the President to, as a matter of urgency, express his commitments and that of his administration to uphold the Rule of Law, protection and guarantee of human rights of Nigeria citizens.
“We further note and strongly condemn the organised attack by hired thugs, and demand for the investigation and bringing to book of those who violently attacked citizens who were peacefully exercising their civic rights.
“We state for emphasis that we recognise the rights of citizens to protest, but we condemn and find intolerable situation where in exercising that right, groups of citizens are deliberately instigated or sponsored to orchestrate and visit violent attacks on fellow citizens who are equally exercising their rights.
“We note that the series of violent attacks which played out in the open and witnessed by the entire world on live media coverage, actually took place in the presence of security officers and personnel who stood by and allowed the attack on peaceful protesters to take place.
“We also wish to emphasise that this attack on the peaceful protests is only the latest in an ugly trend involving the unleashing of rented crowds to harass and attack dissenting voices.
“We call on the international community to call our government to order, to stop and halt this slide towards the outsourcing of security duties to armed and unruly non-state actor formations.
“We further call on the government to immediately release all the countless protesters arrested and detained for exercising their constitutional rights across the country since the #EndSARS protest commenced.
“We further call on the Federal Government to reprimand and bring to account all the named officers of SARS and soldiers responsible for some of these flagrant acts of violation of citizens;
“We also join forces to demand that the government constitute an independent panel of inquiry to address police extortion and violation of human rights in Nigeria;
“The condition of service of the police and other law enforcement agencies and other vices affecting the Nigerian Police system and others; for a more effective delivery of services to the Nigerian people.”
They demanded the release of all illegally detained persons and prisoners of conscience of the #EndSARS protest and noted “with disappointment, the manner in which the government has continued to handle the youth demands.
“We urge the youth protesters to continue making their legitimate demands, believing that the government will finally bow to their demands and do the needful.
“We affirm our continued commitment to join forces with the youths to take all lawful, legal and constitutional steps and actions until all the demands are met.
“And we all achieve our goal of democratic governance that upholds respect for the rule of law, and protects and guarantees the human rights of all citizens and residents — civil and political, socio-economic, and cultural rights inclusive.
“We appeal to the youths to remain calm in the face of provocation. TMG stands in solidarity with the youth of Nigeria and their #5for5 demands.”