Nigeria death toll at 70 protests against police violence

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The Nigerian Presidency has put about 70 those killed in the protests what happens since the beginning of october in the country against police brutality, although it has not detailed if this figure includes the dead on Tuesday in the city of Lagos After thes security forces opened fire against a demonstration in the Lekki area.

He Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, transferred on Thursday during an emergency meeting to address the situation that 69 people had died in the mobilizations, including 11 policemen and seven soldiers, as confirmed by a spokesman for the Presidency to the British television channel BBC.

The president stressed during the meeting, in which former Nigerian presidents participated, that the authorities would not allow those responsible for the disturbances to continue to carry out incidents, while showing the Government’s willingness to respond to protesters’ demands.

Buhari called late on Thursday for an end to the protests and called for a “constructive” dialogue to “find solutions”, following the latest incidents and the repression of mobilizations, which left more than a dozen dead in the city of Lagos on Tuesday, according to data from the non-governmental organization Amnesty International.

Criticism for his silence

President, highly criticized for its silence in relation to the repression of the protests, he defended his measures and his decision to dissolve the controversial Special Squad against Robbery (SARS), whose abuses were the spark that ignited the mobilizations.

“By approving the dissolution of SARS I made it clear that it was in line with our commitment to implementing extensive reforms in the Police. Unfortunately, the speed with which we acted seems to have been interpreted as a sign of weakness and manipulated by some for their selfish and unpatriotic interests, “he lamented.

“To those who seek to undermine national security and the situation of law and order. Under no circumstances will this be tolerated,” he warned, before noting that the protesters’ demands “have been heard loud and clear” and that the authorities “are responding”.

In this way, Buhari directly addressed those who “have kidnapped and diverted the initial, genuine and well-intentioned protest (…) against the excesses of some members of the now dissolved SARS.” “Lives have been lost, acts of sexual violence have been reported, two prisons have been attacked and prisoners have been released, and public and private properties have been completely destroyed,” he lamented.

“All this has been carried out in the name of the protests of the #EndSARS movement. It pains me that innocent lives have been lost.. These tragedies are unjustified and unnecessary“, he pointed out, before clarifying that” these bad acts must not be connected in any way with the legitimate expression of complaints by the country’s youth. “

Curfew reduction

For his part, the governor of the state of Lagos, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has announced a reduction of the curfew as of Saturday and has highlighted that from that day on he will be standing between 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. , as reported by the Nigerian newspaper ‘The Guardian’.

Sanwo-Olu acknowledged the death of at least two protesters for the shooting of the security forces in Lekki, after having repeatedly denied that any deaths were recorded. Thus, he said that the matter had been transferred “to the highest level of the Army” and defended that the Lagos authorities “have no knowledge of the Army’s protocols.”

Years of “uncontrolled violence”

The Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, called on Wednesday “maximum restraint” to the security forces and asked the authorities “to investigate these incidents and hold those responsible to account.”
For her part, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, condemned the excessive and disproportionate use of force and called for measures to confront the repeated human rights violations committed by the security forces.

Bachelet also recalled that “Nigeria was already at a boiling point“before the incidents” for revelations about years of uncontrolled violence, including alleged murders, rapes, extortion and other violations “by members of SARS.

Along these lines, he opted for “re-examining the entire security sector and its civilian supervision” after “many years of complaints about violations that have not been adequately addressed.” “This should include a total review of the rules of procedure and the training systems and methods“, settled.

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