By Chibuzo Ukaibe, Abuja
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar has told the armed forces to show restrain in engaging the protesters whom he described as peaceful.
He stressed that it is sad that unprovoked killing of unarmed and peaceful protesters took place at the Lekki Toll gate, even while they demonstrated their patriotism by singing the National Anthem.
Atiku in a video broadcast on the killing of protesters on Tuesday, urged the armed forces to face common enemies of the nation like terrorists and insurgents and not their brothers and sisters.
Underscoring his grief, Atiku said he woke up yesterday morning and did the unusual by calling to speak to all my adult children, because he wanted to be sure that they are safe.
“ I also wanted to be assured that the event of yesterday was a nightmare. But it was real. This is our new normal. As I speak, many parents and homes are in mourning. Their children, mowed down in their prime by a needless show of force by security forces that were supposed to be protecting them.”
He added, “For over a week, our young people have been trying to draw our attention to their grievances, by way of the #EndSARS movement.
“Sadly, it reached a violent crescendo yesterday, with the unprovoked killing of unarmed and peaceful protesters, even while they demonstrated their patriotism by singing the National Anthem.
“I am heartbroken at this turn of events and deeply condole with the families of the victims. I feel their pains and the pains of the injured and maimed.
“There are reports of hospitals refusing to treat the injured from this horrendous incident. I urge all hospitals, private and public, to prioritise the Hippocratic oath and treat every and all of the injured. To save their lives is a task that must be prioritised.
“I call on our armed forces to show restraint. No more lives must be lost. Absolutely none. We must face our common enemies, not our brothers and sisters. And our foes are the terrorists and insurgents, who seek to end the Nigerian way of life.
He however reiterated his call on President Muhammadu Buhari to speak to the nation, even as he speedily implements the demands laid out by the protest whom he calls young compatriots.