A coalition of Feminists under the aegis of Nigerian Women Arise have called for accountability and justice for those killed and injured at the Lekki Toll Gate plaza and other places of protests. This was the outcome in a webinar held recently with over 400 women organisation represented.
In a statement signed by leading female activists, Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili, Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi and Amb. Nkoyo Toyo, the group demand for identities of those who ordered the deployment of soldiers to shoot at unarmed citizens, and those who switched off the lights and surveillance cameras at the Lekki Toll Gate plaza shortly before the attack.
“We demand for the immediate constitution of an independent Judicial Panel of Inquiry that will include credible civil society organisations, professional bodies such as Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, labour unions, youth organizations, security agencies, women organisations.
“We demand that Government immediately investigates and identifies the thugs that were hired to disrupt the protests nationwide and differentiate them from the EndSARS protesters. It is the responsibility of the Police to remove perpetrators of violence from the streets and ensure diligent prosecution thereafter.
“ They further said, “We enjoin the Government to note that freedom to engage in Peaceful Protest Is A Democratic Right, Not A Privilege. The fundamental rights to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression are well entrenched in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended.
“Nigerian Women believe the violence we have seen could have been prevented if government, at all levels, had intervened timely to constructively engage protesters whose demands for an end to SARS, police brutality and good governance, were in the public domain.”
They however assure young citizens of their absolute support and solidarity with their EndSARS agitation and will do all that is necessary to help safeguard their right to peaceful protests. Nigerian Women will continue to closely monitor the events as they develop and will take appropriate measures to protect our young ones while defending our democracy for peace and justice to reign.