The former Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo has called on President Mohammadu Buhari to put an end to the using of brute force by the military and other security forces as a way of ending the crisis facing the country.
The former president who was reacting to the killing of some peaceful Endsars protesters which took place in Lekki toll gate on Monday, October 20, 2020, has released a statement to condemn such act.
The statement released yesterday, Wednesday, October 21, 2020, which titles; ‘Statement on Violence Against Protesters in Nigeria’, saw the former president call for calm to reign.
According to Obasanjo, he said the President and his lieutenants didn’t exhaust all the avenues before deploying soldiers. And that the killing of peaceful protestors only worsens the situation and makes dialog impossible.
He added that it was worse that the military forces after killing peaceful protesters denied the act despite the visual evidence.
Below reads his statement…
“The shooting and murder of unarmed protesters, no matter the level of provocation, has never been effective in suppressing public anger and frustration. Instead, such actions only reinforce the anger and frustration of the populace and close the window of dialogue and peaceful resolution.
“It is clear that Mr President and his lieutenants did not exhaust the opportunities for dialogue with the protesters before resorting to the use of force.
“It is worse that there is a denial of wrongdoing in spite of overwhelming visual evidence. Great harm has been done but it can be stopped before it completely spirals out of control.
“We are at a critical moment in this crisis and the President must act now before it is too late. This time demands leadership and mature leadership at such.
“It is imperative that leaders at all levels, starting with Mr President, must demonstrate meekness, humanity and sincerity in meeting the legitimate demands of the protesters and ensuring that justice is served where it must be served. These are the potent ways of ending this crisis now.”
“The youth must give peace a chance while making their legitimate demands. They must be mindful of miscreants who will infiltrate their ranks and give the protests a bad name so that trigger-happy forces will kill them.
“The destruction and looting of public and private properties will only hurt all of us and set us back.” – he said.