The Nigerian Youth Union has condemned the recent killings of peaceful protesters at Lekki as condemnable, barbaric and unconstitutional.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Union President Chinonso Obasi, Secretary General Deji Oso and sent to newsmen.
The Union further call on government to immediately reform the Nigerian Police, EndSARS and address the ongoing ASUU strike that sat millions of Nigerian Students at home.
The statement which read in parts:
“It is with deep grief and dismay that we have come to express our frustration on the brutalization and killing of young peaceful protesters who were killed by military personnel in Lekki, Lagos, and some other parts of Nigeria.
We are condemning this wicked carnage and state-induced terror unleashed on our members across the country, describing it as not just barbaric or satanic but very unconstitutional.
The ENDSARS protest became inevitable as a response to unabated cases of police brutality in the country, which has accounted for the death and amputation of many Nigerian youths.
While we recognize the importance of the Nigerian Police especially when you take into consideration their crime-fighting and crime-prevention roles, we wish to succinctly posit that the Police SARS-turned-SWAT unit, as well as the entire configuration of Nigeria Police Force, are in dire need of urgent reform and rehabilitation for positive attitudinal change and improved operational behavior for effective productivity.
To this extent, the young ENDSARS protesters, in their innocent quest for a better country and leadership that they can be proud of decided to expand the scope of their demands regarding the extraordinary call for good governance, leadership accountability, restructuring, and holistic reforms in the country.
Communicating these demands, the young protesters have hitherto conducted themselves peacefully and they have also accorded the process a huge quantum of patriotic display of honor, in a manner that corresponds with their fundamental human rights and obligations as bonafide citizens of Nigeria.
Surprisingly, following the balkanization and deliberate incrimination of the protest by sponsored-hoodlums who infiltrated the protest formation a few days ago, the government in their premeditated attempt was quick to discredit the protest and protesters, calling them unpleasant and illicit names, perhaps, to maim and kill them.
Consequently, more than 75 youths have been allegedly killed across the country with over 124 injured as a result of the attack done to them by the military personnel on the instruction of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Meanwhile, we wish to state here that the constitution of the FRN forbids and disempowers any security agencies the liberty to attack any peaceful protesters
We are also aware that the right to peaceful protests, assembly, and association is fully safeguarded by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under sections 39 and 40.
The agonizing Lekki Massacre and killings of young and peaceful ENDSARS protesters across the country are therefore considered by us as a sheer violation of the fundamental rights of not just the protesters alone but that of the Nigerian Youths as affirmed by the constitution.
We wish to reiterate our belief in the aspirations of our teeming youths, in total allegiance and solidarity to the Lekki martyrs who lost their lives at the barricade while resisting tyranny, bad governance, and anti-democratic policies of Government.
On this note, we are hereby submitting these following 15-point demands officially, requesting that the government should:
- End SARS and Reform the Nigerian Police Force through reorientation, rebranding, and retraining.
Reform the Security Sector, Sack the Security Chiefs, and pass a bill restricting the police or any military personnel from hitting or shooting at innocent civilians in Nigeria. Set up a committee to investigate the killing and Arrest in Lekki and other parts of Nigeria. Prosecute all the indicted military personnel who shot at our unarmed and innocent young citizens in Nigeria and immortalize them or compensate the
families of our slain comrades.
Disband the expensive bi-cameral legislature and adopt uni-cameral that embrace just two representatives per each state, and they should be collecting salaries and remuneration not more than that of a Reader or an Associate Professor in a University.
Implement the full deregulation of the Oil and Gas Sector; Ratify the Petroleum Industry Bill and create job opportunities for children of a common man in the sector.
Implement full deregulation of the Power Sector to allow investment capital flow that can enhance job as well as stable power transmission and distribution.
Restructure Nigeria, decentralize and devolve power and return to Regionalism with States to enjoy full autonomy and have its state police.
Close the Northern Borders to stop the free entry of Fulani Herdsmen and Bandits
Allow an all-inclusive government for all tribes and regions of Nigeria with 50% of youths in charge of governance, commerce, and ICT.
Allocate more funds to the Education Sector to provide a better Teaching environment, facilities, and improved remunerations to all teachers from the primary to the tertiary institution levels.
Attend to ASUU so that students can resume and change University, Polytechnic, and Monotechnics’ academic curriculum to reflect modern-day realities.
Place all Political Office Holders on Minimum Wage to attract genuine and committed people into the Public Service.
Speed up the process of reforming the electoral system to migrate to an electronic voting system that is tied to citizens bvn and gsm.
Increase the salaries of our doctors, nurses, teachers, police, military officers, and civil servants. The government should also be sincere with its anti-corruption crusade by jailing looters and criminal offenders. The looters and criminals should be made to face trial in their home states and villages to shame them and their families and to serve as deterrence to despicable act and behavior.
Implement the 2014 National Conference Report.
Desist Public office holders from patronizing foreign hospitals on medical trips. This will guarantee a better and efficient healthcare system in Nigeria.
Having reinstated the highlighted points, we wish to implore the Nigerian government to kindly respond to these demands immediately through a live broadcast on any of the National television, within the next 7days of receiving this, or we may be forced to reignite the protest until our needs are met.
Finally, we wish to re-emphasize here that our peaceful protests against bad governance constitute the fundamental indicators and evidence of an evolving and consolidating democracy. Hence, the government and the security agencies should desist from killing us as they would be portraying themselves as agents of doom and anti-democracy forces.
We shall continue to explore collective rights to freedom of expression and association as imbued in the statutes of freedom and liberty that strengthen our nation’s democracy while hoping to embrace any avenue for a dialogue to redress the arrest and killings of our comrades, and to possibly arrive at a consensus on our demands. We equally appeal to all Nigerian Youths to Protest with civility, maintain nonviolent conduct, and avoid the destruction of public properties”.