The Middle Belt Forum has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to as a
matter of urgency, set up a commission of inquiry that will unravel the mystery behind the shooting of scores of #EndSARS protesters in various states, especially Lagos, Imo, Delta, Plateau and FCT, Abuja.
A statement issued by the Forum’s national president, Dr Pogu Bitrus,
expressed worry over how nonviolent marches have snowballed into
mindless killings of protesters, leaving a trail of bloodshed in a supposedly peaceful exercise.
“Tuesday’s shootings of protesters who were holding the Nigerian flags
at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos, and the attendant destruction of private and public property, have thrown thick clouds of uncertainties over our nation’s skies, thereby unleashing ominous signs on our country.
“It is sad that the youth who were shot were not criminals but patriotic citizens marching against the brutality of our nation’s police that has horrified victims and citizens and made Nigeria the
shame of the international community. It is most tragic that more than 48 hours after the unprovoked murder of those youth who were proudly holding our national flag and reciting the national anthem, President Muhammadu Buhari has not found it appropriate to address the nation; a clear sign that our President is obviously devoid of wise counsel on
the bloody turnout of the #EndSARS protests that have claimed scores
of lives across the country.
“Arising from these bloody protests made possible by gory confrontationsbetween the #EndSARS demonstrators and hoodlums, amidst allegation of deployment of soldiers that has so far been denied by the top army command, the leadership of the Middle Belt Forum (MBF) totally condemns these vicious violence that are rocking the
foundations of our dear country,” the statement said.
“As the umbrella organisation representing ethnic nationalities in the
defunct Northern region, the MBF is grimly at pains over these
coldblooded murders and violation of citizens’ rights to hold rallies
against police brutality and demanding for a better country for all. In a democratic nation like ours, these nonviolent demonstrators ought
to have been given protection by the state in order to forestall a
possible hijack of these peaceful rallies by hired hoodlums.
“Considering the rising spate of bloody confrontations with alleged
thugs that were hired to introduce violence in the #EndSARS protests
so as to tarnish the peaceful dispositions of demonstrators, we call on President Buhari to intervene and stop further killings of these youths who are simply exercising their fundamental rights by calling the attention of the world to the cruelty of the police and demanding
for a better country where the system works for citizens,” the statement added.