The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), has called on protesters to be peaceful in conducting their protests and urged Nigerian security operatives to exercise restraint in the handling of protests.
This was disclosed in a statement by the organization on Tuesday and comes on the heels of statements by other International bodies and personalities, who have expressed worry over the nature of brutality meted on protesters, especially after the Lekki shootings.
— ECOWAS-CEDEAO (@ecowas_cedeao) October 27, 2020
“ECOWAS Commission notes with concern that demonstrations by Nigerian youth calling for Police reforms, particularly the abolition of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigerian Police force, accused of misconduct by those demonstrating, have turned violent,” they said.
The body said it recognizes the right to peaceful protests and also called for protesters to be peaceful, due to the rising reported cases of lootings post protests during the curfews.
“While ECOWAS recognizes the right of citizens to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly and protests, it also wishes to stress that those rights should be exercised in a nonviolent manner.
“In this regard, ECOWAS calls on all protesters to remain peaceful in the conduct of their demonstrations. It also urges the Nigerian security operatives to exercise restraint in the handling of the protests and act professionally.”
The tone of ECOWAS’ message is different compared to the rest of other stakeholders including the statement of the Lagos State Governor, House of Reps Speaker, and the Vice President, who all acknowledged that the protests were peaceful and the protesters were attacked and that the violence from the curfews was not done by the protesters but by hoodlums.
The ECOWAS message is also the first statement by West Africa’s most important regional body since the #EndSARS protests started in the first week of October.
#EndSARS: Protest hijack was catalysed by fake news – Lai Mohammed
The hijack of #EndSARS protests was catalysed by fake news and disinformation, Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed has said.
Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, has claimed that the hijack of the #EndSARS protests was catalysed by fake news and disinformation, which spread like wildfire on social media.
The Minister disclosed this during a stakeholders meeting with members of the broadcasting organizations of Nigeria (BON) on Friday in Abuja.
#EndSARS Sanctions: Nigeria has reached out to the UK Government – Foreign Minister
Onyeama has stated that the FG has reached out to the UK Government over the parliamentary debate on the #EndSARS protests.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, said that the Nigerian Government has reached out to the UK Government over the parliamentary debate on the #EndSARS protests.
The Minister disclosed this to Newsmen at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Thursday, which was recorded by Channels TV.
He added that the UK Parliament did not speak for the UK government, and that the UK had heard the Nigerian government’s side regarding the incident at Lekki.
“On the issue of the UK parliament, yes, we have reached out to the UK government on this question. The meeting that took place was of Parliamentarians, they don’t speak for the UK government and the UK government which acts for the United Kingdom has also heard the side of the (Nigerian) government regarding everything that happened.
“So we are in touch with them and engaging with them. But, of course, as in any democracy, the Members of Parliament are able to also air their views, but what is important is that a balanced picture is made available to them all before they take any decision,” Onyeama said.
What you should know
Nairametrics reported earlier this week that the British Parliament had announced it would consider a petition by some groups and individuals, asking it to apply sanctions against the Nigerian government and officials for alleged human rights violations during the #EndSARS protest and Lekki shooting incident.
Also, the presidency earlier disclosed that the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, had a meeting with the UK Special Envoy for Humanitarian Affairs, Nick Dyer, accompanied by the UK High Commissioner to Nigeria.
#EndSARS: States affected by violence should get 1% VAT – Senate
The Nigerian Senate has urged the Federal Government to give states that were affected by lootings and destruction by hoodlums after the anti-police brutality protests, 1% of all Value Added Tax (VAT).
This motion was moved by Senators Abiodun Olujimi and Gershom Bassey on Tuesday and disclosed in a report by Channels TV.
What you should know
After the lootings and destruction by hoodlums who hijacked the #EndSARS protests, Nairametrics reported that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, said Lagos State will need about N1 trillion for the reconstruction and repair of the properties and infrastructure that was vandalized in the process.
The Senators moving the motion declared that destruction caused in Lagos by hoodlums was valued at a range of over N1 trillion by the State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
Senator Gershom Bassey also revealed that hoodlums attacked federal properties in Calabar like the WAEC office and looted food warehouses in the state.
“Cross River State being a predominantly Civil Service State may not overcome the effects of the invasion since the destroyed state infrastructure were built from lean state resources over the years,” Bassey disclosed.
Senator Sani Musa said the lootings which started in Lagos spread to other states, leading to the destruction of properties and urged for the FG’s assistance.
“#EndSARS came as a peaceful protest, but turned violent. It started in Lagos and later spread to other states which led to the destruction of homes, businesses, and government offices. It is very unfortunate. The government needs to rebuild what was destroyed and pay compensation as well. It is their responsibility,” Musa said.