A member of the United States House of Representatives, Alexander N. Green, has condemned the killing of unarmed protesters by operatives of the Nigerian Army in Lagos State.
SaharaReporters had last week Tuesday reported how armed men in army uniform stormed the toll gate where #EndSARS protesters had gathered for 13 days and dispersed them with live bullets.
Green in a letter the U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, said he was shocked by the suppression of peaceful protesters by Nigerian security forces.
He also called for the release of those, who were wrongfully arrested for taking part in the #EndSARS protests across the country.
The letter reads, “Dear Secretary Pompeo, I write to express how deeply troubled I am by reports that describe the shocking suppression of peaceful protestors by Nigerian security forces. Reportedly, on October 20, 2020, these armed security forces indiscriminately opened fire on a crowd of protestors at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos, Nigeria, killing many innocent persons.
“On October 3, a video surfaced online that appeared to show the killing of a Nigerian civilian by officers of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, commonly known as SARS. Since the video’s emergence, many people across the country have been publicly and peacefully protesting police brutality and calling for the complete disbandment of SARS.
“While the decision to disband SARS may be beneficial, Nigerian citizens in the main are not calling for a simple replacement of this law enforcement component with another unit that employs officers who may rely on similar brutal and corrupt policing tactics.
“Peaceful protesters in Nigeria as well as those who are protesting this injustice in other nations across the globe have adamantly advocated for comprehensive reform. In solidarity with this peaceful protest movement, I strongly urge you to work with the Government of Nigeria to: Release all peaceful protesters who were wrongfully arrested for taking part in the #EndSARS protests.
“Uphold the right to engage in peaceful, non-violent protests and ensure the safety of protestors in accordance with the International Bill of Rights, the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended). Publicly commit to allowing an independent investigation into human rights abuses committed by the SARS unit as well as the police in general and include publicly elected youth representatives on the Judicial Panels of Inquiry.
“Allow an independent investigation of the actions that led to the killings at the Lekki Toll Gate; provide justice for the families of victims wrongfully killed by SARS during recent protests against police brutality; and initiate comprehensive overall reform of the security sector, including the incorporation of specific measures of accountability.
“I look forward to hearing from you concerning our State Department’s plans to address this critical matter. As of 2015, the United States is home to nearly 400,000 Nigerian immigrants and their children. My congressional district includes parts of Houston, Texas, which has the second largest Nigerian population in the United States. This is not just a Nigerian problem. This is a matter of international concern as Black lives matter not only in the United States but also wherever they may be.”