Eight civil society organizations have called for the arrest and prosecution of Mr. Shaaba Lafiagi, a senator representing Kwara State, for the alleged extra-judicial killing of four of the students protesting against the shoddy representation has provided for his constituents.
The four young men were shot dead by soldiers attached to Mr. Lafiagi on Friday.
The rights groups made their demand in a statement jointly signed by their leaders.
Among the signatories were Messrs. Charles Ofemi of Kwara Youth Stakeholders Forum, Abdulrazak Hamzat of Kwara Must Change, Ibrahim Garba Wala of Citizens Action To Take Back Nigeria and Idris Ahmed of Citizens United for Peace and Security. Others were Ahmed Buhari of Cabal Must Go, Miriam Yakubu of Be The Change Organization, Olatunji Yusuf of Legacy Must Change and Daniel Seun of Citizens of Impact.
According to the statement the deceased were killed during a peaceful protest against the poor quality of representation Mr. Lafiagi has provided.
The groups noted that the unfortunate incident has been confirmed by the Nigerian Police Force (NPF), Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) and other security agencies.
"The reprehensible occurrence, which led to the brutal execution of defenseless, unarmed and peaceful protesters happened as a result of high level irresponsibility, rascality and lack of maturity, which propelled Senator Muhammed Shaa’aba Lafiagi to order soldiers to execute protesting youths, who were merely expressing their disaffection with the senator’s lack of proper representation of the people," the groups said.
While condemning the development, the groups stated that the protesters were well within their rights to express their displeasure in a peaceful manner. They noted that Mr. Lafiagi is one of those that have completely given up on their constitutional duties to look after the welfare of their constituents.
"For many years, the main road that leads into Lafiagi town has been in a very bad state. It was not motorable for quite some time. This includes a dilapidated culvert at Sobo. In order to fix this problem that has clearly affected the economy and mobility of the good people of Lafiagi town, the patriotic youths of the town mobilized financial resources and fixed half of the road.
"When the Senator showed up with his entourage on Friday, the youths stopped his convoy and asked him to own up to his responsibility by fixing the remaining half. Instead of placating the youths by showing maturity and leadership, the bloodthirsty Senator Mohammed Sha'aba Lafiagi called on upon trigger happy soldiers, who opened fire on the peaceful demonstrators," the groups recalled.
They stated that the lawmaker has become a law breaker and must not escape from the wrath of the law, as the killing was a needless waste of human life. In addition, the rights groups reasoned that it is because of the presence of tyrants like Mr. Lafiagi in the federal legislature that no laws will be made for the benefit of the masses.
"In view of this unfortunate situation, we the undersigned Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) aver that the days of impunity and extra-judicial killings are well and truly over in Nigeria and we therefore demand that the Inspector General of Police, as a matter of urgency, order the arrest and prosecution of Senator Lafiagi and his trigger happy soldiers within two weeks, else we will call for civil action against the politicians in National Assembly. This demand should be taken very seriously and acted upon with immediate effect because justice delayed is justice denied," the groups demanded.