By Yemi Adeleye
Lagos, Oct. 21, 2020 The Centre for Human and Socio-Economic Rights (CHSR) on Wednesday appealed to the Federal Government and Lagos State Government to manage the ongoing violence accompanying #EndSARS protests with care to prevent anarchy.
The National President of CHSR, Mr Alex Omotehinse, made the appeal in an interview with journalists
following violence and destruction of property by some aggrieved youth in Lagos State.
Omotehinse said that the government should not invite the state of anarchy by deploying soldiers to quell the protesters any longer.
“If this kind of situation is not well managed, it will result in anarchy. The government should go back to the drawing board for peace to reign.
“The government has shot itself in the leg because no where all over the world, where there is a protest, that soldiers are dispatched to dispel protesters like it happened in Lekki Toll Plaza on Oct. 20.
“We have anti-riot policemen that ought to have been deployed to use tear gas to disperse protesters. Soldiers will always come with live bullet. This is unacceptable,” he said.
The rights activist urged the government to re-engage the few spokesmen among the protesters to douse the tension and the spate of arsons.
“I do not believe the protesters do not have leaders, government should do its job and find that out.
“They may not have a central leader but there are coordinators in every axis.
“The government should find a way to pacify the youth and Nigerians because they are fighting a good cause for a better society.
“It is sad that lives of innocent and harmless Nigerians have been taken who are protesting peacefully.
“Let the government present the names of military men responsible for attack on protesters in Lekki and parade them; this will calm and appease the protesters for now,” Omotehinse said.
According to him, another thing that will pacify the Nigerian youth is to cut the cost of governance and reduce emoluments and allowances for political office holders.
The rights activist, who noted that President Muhammadu Buhari ought to have addressed the Nigerian youth long before now, urged the protesters to be calm and peaceful.
Naija247news reports that the #EndSARS protest in Lagos took another dimension on Oct. 20, evening when soldiers alleged shot protesters defying curfew at Lekki Toll Gate.
The development escalated violence in Lagos and led to massive destruction of public and private facilities and vehicles.