An international Civil Society Organisation, CSO, ActionAid Nigeria, AAN, Saturday, hails youths’ resilience demonstrated to sustain the momentum of the #EndSARS protest amidst attacks and violence meted out to them.
This commendation was made by the Country Director, AAN, Ene Obi, while condemning the destruction of private and public structures, attacks, killings, and hijack of protest by politicians and hoodlums, but said with this the youths had remained peaceful in making their demands despite provocative silence of the Federal Government.
Ene said: “ActionAid Nigeria applauds the level of resilience demonstrated by Nigerian Youths within the past few weeks amidst the violence that has trailed peaceful protests, whilst raising their voices against injustice and demanding for good governance.
“The resolve of the youths to remain peaceful in making their demands despite the attacks, violence, killings, hijack of the peaceful protests by hoodlums and provocative silence of the Federal Government has not gone unnoticed.”
However, she expressed disappointment over President Muhammadu Buhari’s national address on the protest on Thursday evening, in which he didn’t mention the killing of peaceful protesters allegedly carried out by the army at Lekki Toll Gate and other issues.
“On Thursday 22nd October, ActionAid Nigeria, like many other Nigerians watched the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari’s long-awaited speech, notably without mentioning the shooting at the Lekki-Ikoyi toll bridge in Lagos, that led to the injury of scores of protestors and deaths as reported by the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu”, she pointed out.
Meanwhile, the organization made some demands, “As a non-governmental organization working to end poverty and all forms of injustice in Nigeria, we are deeply saddened and call on the President to:
“Recognise that the rights of youths have been trampled upon with the use of maximum force and military actions. The incident that transpired at Lekki must be investigated and those who ordered the shooting, as well as the officers who fired at peaceful protestors must be brought to book openly for Nigerians to see (#BlackTuesday, October 20, 2020).
“Commit to justice for all the victims injured and families of those who lost their lives as a result of the #EndPoliceBrutality campaign across the nation; Give clear-cut responses to all demands of the protestors; Provide definite timelines for government’s response to youths’ demands.
“Investigate those who smuggled hoodlums to disrupt the peaceful protests, attack their fellow citizens, and destroy properties. (Government at all levels must allow youths to stand united for the country and desist from using young Nigerians for political gain).”
She also called on State Governors to do their part by ensuring some areas missing in the President’s speech are met.
“ActionAid Nigeria also calls on all State Governors to sue for peace by recognizing all the lapses in the Presidential speech for prompt enforcement.
“As a development partner at the forefront of achieving social justice in Nigeria, we renew our commitment to support young Nigerians to take their space and ensure good governance in Nigeria”, she added.
She urged young people to remain peaceful as they demand participatory, accountable, transparent, responsive, effective, and inclusive governance.
“We urge the youths to organize peacefully and sustain the momentum of their quest for a participatory, accountable, transparent, responsive, effective, and inclusive governance that follows the rule of law”, she said.