Nigerians have condemned the Muhammadu Buhari-led government over the shooting of human rights activist, Omoyele Sowore during a protest to demand an end to insecurity in the country.
Sowore was on Monday morning shot in the right side of the stomach towards the hip by gun-wielding policemen drafted to the Unity Fountain, Abuja while he was trying to gain entrance into the place.
The activist was said to have been speaking with a detachment of police officers stationed at the public facility when a police man shot at the crowd.
Protesters had converged on the fountain at 8:30am. But the police allegedly denied them entry into the place.
Many people also sustained varying degrees of injury during the incident. Sowore was said to have been rushed to an undisclosed hospital.
Human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, described the action of the police officers as barbaric.
The lawyer said the Buhari’s administration has declared war on the civic space.
He said, “Omoyele Sowore has just been shot by a female police officer at the Unity Fountain in Abuja. He is being taken to the hospital for treatment.
“The officer fired a teargas cannister directly at his right thigh. Sowore was specifically targeted. The criminal officer is said to be CSP Atine. I watched Sowore being shot live on Facebook.
“This is what Nigeria has been turned into under Buhari. They've declared war on the Civic Space. The FCT Police Commissioner has fenced the Unity Fountain with iron and cables to prevent protests.
“This is a criminal offence under the Anti-Torture Act of 2017.”
Convener of Concerned Nigerians group, Deji Adeyanju, accused the APC-led government of treating unarmed protesters like criminals.
“Got out of a meeting to join the protest at Unity Fountain, only for Femi Falana to call me asking if I was at Unity Fountain that Sowore has been shot by the police. This is Buhari’s Nigeria where protesters are treated like criminals. This is why many no longer believe in PEACE
“I was just 3 mins away from Unity Fountain when I got the call that Sowore has been shot by the police. This is the Nigeria some people want others to believe in by force,” he said.
A group under the Peoples Alternative Political Movement (TPAP-M) had called for a nationwide campaign against insecurity and poverty in Nigeria on May 31.
The protest was aimed at asking critical questions which the political elite in the country must provide answers to.
The group had also said the protest would be held to demand the end to the security crises ravaging the country and impoverishment bedevilling Nigerian citizens, thereby asking people and organisations to join in the planned demonstration that would put an end to an avalanche of problems in the country.
Below are also reactions from Twitter:
@MBuhari and @ProfOsinbajo are useless leaders who have done nothing good since they took office! There only achievements is borrowing money from other countries and putting Nigeria in great debt! If anything happens to @YeleSowore Then they would face @IntlCrimCourt— KORREKT (@OfficialKorrekt) May 31, 2021
#NothingMustHappenToSowore @YeleSowore is not a Criminal. @PoliceNG Stop wasting Tax payers monies by shooting at Law abiding Citizens.— GOD'SWILLALONE4NAIJA (@RITAENG1234) May 31, 2021
Please, forward match to where the TROUBLERS of Nigeria is because according to Gumi, una know where Dem dey.
Clearly, The police officer was sent to kill Sowore. He must be arrested immediately without any delay. Any attempt to cover-up this assassination attempt will heat up the polity.— FOLARIN OPEYEMI JOSEPH FOJ. (@opeyemifolarin1) May 31, 2021