A leading coalition of labour and civil society groups, the Alliance for the Survival of COVID-19 and Beyond, has blamed the looting by thugs going on across the country on the Nigerian Government.
ASCAB in a statement by its Chairman, Femi Falana (SAN), said security agencies should be blamed for the arson and looting and not peaceful protesters.
The group also condemned the killing scores of peaceful protesters in Lagos by Nigerian soldiers.
The statement reads, “ASCAB unequivocally commends the young people who have been protesting peacefully all over Nigeria without engaging in any destructive activity.
“To this extent, ASCAB condemns the heinous killing of peaceful protesters in different parts of Nigeria and demands that the armed soldiers who shot, killed and fatally injured unarmed peaceful protesters at Lekki Toll Gate, Lagos State, yesterday, 20th October 2020 should be brought to book without any further delay.
“ASCAB observes that very surprisingly, since yesterday, gangs of hoodlums have been allowed to unleash mayhem on innocent people and set fire on targeted buildings. To our utter dismay, the hoodlums have been allowed to operate without any restraint from security forces. Curiously, the advice of the ASCAB leadership for deployment of adequate security personnel to dislodge the hoodlums was ignored.
“Even the detachment of the Nigerian Army that recklessly attacked unarmed protesters yesterday have not routed out the hoodlums in spite of the so-called operation Crocodile Smile VI. It therefore appears that the hoodlums are state sponsored.
“We have confirmed that through the personal efforts of the Justices of the Court of Appeal, the hoodlums who had looted the Lagos High Court were caught and arrested while ransacking the Court of Appeal this afternoon. Other authorities are called upon to be vigilant in view of the unwarranted tension which has enveloped the nation.
“ASCAB is compelled to call on the Lagos State Commissioner of Police to ensure that the hoodlums are dispersed with teargas canisters, rubber bullets and water cannons which are the conventional practices of controlling social actions in appropriate cases in all democratic societies. All persons who commit arson and wilful destruction of properties should not be killed but arrested and prosecuted under the Criminal Code of Lagos State.
“It is the primary responsibility of Lagos State Government to guarantee law and order in Lagos State, including the sacredness and inviolability of life and protection of public and private buildings.”