President of Women Arise and Centre for Change, Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin has maintained that the Lagos State Government ‘can not wash its hands clean’ of the incident that happened at Lekki toll gate on Tuesday.
Nigerian soldiers had killed many youths and injured several others who were outside to protest against police brutality after the State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu had imposed a curfew.
Okei-Odumakin who stressed that Nigerians are not defeated with the incident said Government’s strong-arm tactics will not only backfire ‘but leave it reeling from its new status of a dictatorial regime.’
She asked the Government to ensure the release of arrested youths and allow access to medical treatment to the injured, adding that families of the dead must be compensated.
The statement reads: “The barbaric killing of protesting youths by the Nigerian Government cannot but shatter the heart of any sane human being with blood running in his or her veins.
“We are shattered! We are heartbroken! Together with the youths, we are in pains and in grief.
“But let us say it loud and clear: Conscionable Nigerians are not broken. We are not defeated.
“This “victory” by the Nigerian despotic government masquerading as a democratic government is phyrric and shall soon turn to ashes in their mouth.
“It was so for Ibrahim Babangida when he executed Vatsa and the other so-called coup plotters against popular calls for clemency.
“It was so for Sani Abacha when he executed Ken Saro-Wiwa despite worldwide opposition.
“It will be no less even now because government was told loud and clear not to send soldiers after the youths!
“In these hours of grief, we stand with the Nigerian youths and demand that government stop the slaughtering of our youths immediately.
“They are our shining lights and the leaders of tomorrow.
“Their grievances were genuine; even government itself said so.
“They were peaceful until sponsored hoodlums broke into their ranks.
“They enjoyed not only countrywide but also worldwide support.
“Government’s strong arm tactics against them will, therefore, not only backfire but leave it reeling from its new status of a dictatorial regime.
“We should watch it lest this country relapse into a pariah state that it was under Abacha.
“The Lagos State government cannot wash its hands clean of this massacre.
“It must, therefore, immediately move to send the soldiers back to their barracks, allow access to medical treatment to the injured, and ensure the release of arrested youths.
“The families of the dead must be compensated and get justice, the wounded treated free of charge, and laws must now be made to henceforth prevent the use of soldiers in civil protests.
“Never again must the guns we procured for our safety and the soldiers we pay to protect us be unleashed on us and our children.”