The two labour centers in the country – Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), as well as other trade unions and workers associations have condemned the shooting of peaceful protesters with live bullets at Lekki Toll Gate, in Lagos.
They all expressed concerns at the use of government agents to fire shots at the protesters, even when it was known that the #EndSARS protests have been going on in that particular spot peacefully in carnival-like shows for days without degenerating into chaos.
They called for a full investigation into the shooting and all that happened shortly before the shooting, the issue of the removed cameras and the switch off of the ever reliable light from the source that threw the whole area into darkness.
They also called for adequate compensation for the victim of the shooting, and those who lost their properties in the crisis that followed.
Apart from the NLC and the TUC, other workers unions and association that condemned the shooting in strong term are: the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG), the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), the Commonwealth Medical Association (CMA) and the Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies (SSACGOC).
A statement signed by CMA President, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, said: “The CMA expresses grave concern over reports of callous assault and murder of defenseless civilian protesters, at the Lekki Toll Plaza in Lagos State, Nigeria. This unfortunate incident which took place in the course of a peaceful protest (code-named #ENDSARS) against police brutality and call for reforms of the Nigeria Police Force in various parts of Nigeria, was characterized by the firing of live bullets at the protesting civilians, with several deaths and fatal injuries recorded amongst the protesters.
“Aside from these despicable acts which led to many casualties, the CMA views as most unfortunate and unacceptable, the prevention of ambulance services and medical care for the injured victims.”
In its statement by its President, Comrade Williams Akporeha, NUPENG said it “viewed gory images of Tuesday night shootings of peaceful #EndSARS protesters at Lekki Toll Gate with sadness, heavy hearts and deep concerns. Without any iota of doubt, the unfortunate incident fell short of any acceptable minimum global and civilized standards of managing peaceful protest in any democratic system.”
Also, in a statement, the NMA “appeal to Mr. President to direct appropriate agencies of government to commence investigations that will unravel the circumstances that led to the shooting. More specifically, we are saddened by the reported events at Lekki Toll Gate.
“The NMA as the umbrella body of Nigerian doctors in clear terms condemns all forms of violence and threats to life especially the alleged use of live ammunition by some security agents leading to injuries and loss of lives. In a similar vein, we condemn the wanton destruction of public and private properties and attacks on other citizens by hoodlums who hijacked the peaceful protests.”
PENGASSAN President, Comrade Festus Osifo said in a statement: “The PENGASSAN has viewed these images of shootings of peaceful #Endsars protesters not just at Lekki toll gate but all over the country with sadness, heavy hearts and deep concerns for our nation.
“Without mincing words, we vehemently say that this unfortunate incident falls short of any standard of civilization globally of handling peaceful protest in any democratic system.”
The NLC President, Comrade Wabba and the General Secretary, Comrade Emmanuel Ugboaja while condemning the shooting, said: “We call for a high-powered Judicial Panel of Inquiry into this.
It is our expectation that part of the outcomes of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry should be compensation for families of victims.
“We have already shed enough blood in Nigeria through various specters of insecurity. We cannot afford to add the blood of young protesters to the list.”
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