REACTIONS from international personalities trail Tuesday’s shootings of peaceful protesters in Lekki suburb, of Lagos.
Different videos that circulated on social media Tuesday evening, showed soldiers firing live bullets on the #EndSARS protesters. Reports on social media are that several of the protesters died as a result of the shooting while several others sustained various degrees of injuries.
From the United Nations headquarters in New York, Secretary-General António Guterres,l condemned the killings of peaceful #EndSARS protesters and demanded a probe.
A statement attributed to Guterres, was released on UN website by his spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, in response to the incident read:
“The Secretary-General is following recent developments in Nigeria and calls for an end to reported police brutality and abuses. He condemns the violent escalation on 20 October in Lagos which resulted in multiple deaths and caused many injuries. He expresses his condolences to the bereaved families and wishes a speedy recovery to those injured. He calls on the Nigerian authorities to investigate these incidents and hold the perpetrators accountable.
“The Secretary-General urges the security forces to act at all times with maximum restraint while calling on protestors to demonstrate peacefully and to refrain from violence.
“The Secretary-General encourages the authorities to swiftly explore avenues to de-escalate the situation. He reiterates the readiness of the United Nations to support national efforts towards finding a solution.”
In condemning the shooting, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby Twitted, Welby, “I condemn in the strongest terms the reported deliberate shooting of unarmed protesters in #Lagos and other parts of #Nigeria. I have urged President @MBuhari directly to ensure that lives are protected – and I say that again now.
“I mourn for Nigeria. May God save Nigeria?” I condemn in the strongest terms the reported deliberate shooting of unarmed protesters in #Lagos and other parts of #Nigeria.
I have urged President @MBuhari directly to ensure that lives are protected – and I say that again now. I mourn for Nigeria. May God save Nigeria?”
Former United States Presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton called on President Muhammadu Buhari to stop the killing of protesters demonstrating against police brutality in the West African country.
Clinton’s call, posted on her Twitter account, came after a number of people taking part in the protests, which have garnered widespread attention due to the viral social media tag #EndSARS, were reportedly shot dead or injured at the Lekki toll gate in Nigeria’s populous city of Lagos on Tuesday night.
“I’m calling on President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigerian Army to stop killing young #EndSARS protesters. #StopNigeriaGovernment,” Clinton said.
Broadcaster BBC reported that an eyewitness had counted about 20 dead bodies and at least 50 injured people after soldiers opened fire to the crowd.
Former United States Vice-President Joe Biden – who is standing against President Donald Trump in next month’s election – also urged the Nigerian government to cease the “violent crackdown on protesters”.
“The US must stand with Nigerians who are peacefully demonstrating for police reform and seeking an end to corruption in their democracy,” he said in a statement.
American music super star, Beyonce, tweeting on the Twitter feed of her charitable foundation, BeyGood, said: “I am heartbroken to see the senseless brutality taking place in Nigeria. There has be to be an end to SARS.
“We have been working on partnerships with youth organisations to support those protesting for change. We are collaborating with coalitions to provide emergency healthcare, food, and shelter.
“To our Nigerian sisters and brothers, we stand with you. Please visit beyonce.com for a list of organisations to show your support.”
In a tweet, Amnesty International Nigeria said it had “received credible but disturbing evidence of excessive use of force occasioning deaths of protesters at Lekki toll gate in Lagos”.
Amnesty International spokesman Isa Sanusi later said: “People were killed at the tollgate by security forces… we are working on verifying how many.”