Obasanjo Condemns President Buhari’s Violent Crackdown On Peaceful #EndSARS Protesters

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has faulted President Muhammadu Buhari for the use of brute force to quell #EndSARS protests in Lagos state and across the nation.

He disclosed this Wednesday in a public statement titled ‘Statement on Violence Against Protesters In Nigeria: An Appeal for Calm’, a day after soldiers shot at unarmed protesters at the infamous Lekki Toll Gate.

The Lekki incident has been condemned by many Nigerians including Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu who has pledged an investigation into the shooting and other international public figures such as Joe Biden, Hillary and Bill Clinton.

He added that it was obvious that the President and his lieutenants didn’t exhaust all avenues before deploying soldiers, advising him to “restrain the military and other security agencies from using brute force as a way of ending the crisis.”

He said history had shown that killing protesters only worsens the crisis and makes dialogue impossible. The statement read, “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.”

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