Following reports of killings of peaceful protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate Plaza in Lagos, ADC’s governorship candidate in the just-concluded Edo elections, Mabel Oboh, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to withdraw soldiers from the state at once to ensure peace and stability.
She told newsmen: “This is a shame! Those that were killed were peaceful protesters who committed no crime
“Almost every citizen in Nigeria has experienced police brutality directly or indirectly, but what happened yesterday (Tuesday) is outrageous.
“How can a government unleash such violence on its own citizens? The government must withdraw the soldiers at once, investigate the shootings and bring the culprits behind this shameful act to justice.”
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Calling on protesters to continue to eschew violence as they make their demands, Mabel Oboh said: “I also want to use this opportunity to call on protesters not to embrace violence but peace.
“My heart goes out to those protesters who died and their families at this most trying time for them and the nation.
“However, it should be noted that there are good policemen and women who are devoted to a better Nigeria. What we need is reform and re-structuring in every sphere of our lives, including the police force.
“They (police) need to be well paid and the bad eggs must be fished out and brought to justice. No country around the world can function without policing, but nothing justifies the senseless killings of unarmed protesting youths.
“The right to protest is a fundamental human right enshrined in the constitution. The idea of peaceful protest against police brutality earlier embarked on by protesters was a good one, but I believe it has been carried too far because it has been hijacked by hoodlums and this could only spell anarchy and if care is not taken it could overwhelm Nigeria.
“Burning of police stations and killing of innocent citizens are criminal acts which must be rejected by all people of good conscience.
“Are we saying that it is okay for hoodlums to hold the country to ransom? This is a catch-22 situation. The hoodlums have hijacked the protest and this has brought untold hardship on Nigerians.
“We are appealing to the protesters not to resort to violence but continue to protest peacefully.
“This is a democratic country and agreement can be reached in a civil way. Is it not high time we learned to solve our problems and be civil about it?
“There is no questioning the fact that we need serious change in the country. There is serious hunger in the land.
“That being said, there is no excuse for a group of people to take laws into their hands in the name of #ENDSARS.”