Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has condemned the shooting and murder of unarmed EndSARS protesters by soldiers in Lagos. He said such an action would never be an effective option in suppressing public anger and frustration.
In a statement he issued and signed yesterday, the former president called on President Muhammadu Buhari to restrain the military and other security agencies from using brute force as a way of ending the crisis.
The statement reads:
“It is with a heavy heart and a deep sense of concern about the ongoing violence, chaos and unrest in many parts of Nigeria that I make this appeal to the government and people of our dear country, Nigeria to eschew violence and embrace peace and dialogue in finding solutions to the challenges we face as a country.
“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 worse that there is 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’re at a critical moment in this crisis and Mr. President must act now before it is too late. This time demands leadership and mature leadership at such.
“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 most potent ways of ending this crisis now.”
Also, the former president appealed to the youth to give peace a chance while making their legitimate demands.
He said in the statement: “They must be mindful of miscreants who will infiltrate their ranks and give the protests a bad name only so that trigger happy forces will kill them.”
“The destruction and looting of public and private properties will only hurt all of us and wet us back. The targeting of individuals and groups for attacks and reprisal attacks will only further widen our divisions, escalate the crisis and threaten our fragile unity.
“This is yet another moment when our nation is on the edge of a cliff. Our individual and collective actions now and in the next few days will determine where we will go as a nation. May God help us in taking the right steps in the right direction.”