Senior Advocate of Nigeria and human rights activist, Mr Femi Falana has said that the security agencies should be blamed for arson and looting by gangs and not peaceful protesters.
Falana condemned the heinous killing of peaceful protesters in different parts of Nigeria and demanded that the armed soldiers who shot, killed and fatally injured unarmed peaceful protesters at Lekki Tollgate, Lagos State, on Wednesday, October 20, 2020, should be brought to book without any further delay.
Falana, who is the interim chairman of Alliance for Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond (ASCAB), made this known in a statement issued to Tribune Online in Lagos.
He commended the youths for protesting peacefully across the country without engaging in any destructive activity.
“Alliance for Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond (ASCAB) unequivocally commends the young people who have been protesting peacefully all over Nigeria without engaging in any destructive activity.
“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,” he said.
He asked the Lagos State Commissioner of Police to ensure that the hoodlums are dispersed with teargas canisters, rubber bullets and water cannon which are the conventional practices of controlling social actions in appropriate cases in all democratic societies.
While stating that 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, Falana said that the primary responsibility of Lagos State Government is to guarantee law and order in Lagos State, including the sacredness and inviolability of life and protection of public and private buildings.