Obinna Odogwu, Awka
Traditional rulers in Anambra State have condemned in strong terms the shootings and killing of peaceful EndSARS protesters in Lekki area of Lagos State and other parts of the country allegedly by the security agents.
Chairman of the Anambra State Traditional Rulers’ Council, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, in a statement, said that the “reported shooting to death of numerous unarmed and defenceless youths at the Lekki Tollgate” and other areas of Lagos State was unacceptable to the monarchs.
The statement read: “The traditional rulers of Anambra State have watched with deep concern, the unfolding events of the past two weeks leading to last Tuesday’s reported shooting to death of numerous unarmed and defenceless youths at the Lekki Tollgate and possibly elsewhere in Lagos by soldiers of the Nigerian army. There have also been reported deaths in other parts of the country.
“The youths, our children, are expressing their lawful and constitutional rights in protesting against the brutality of the government’s security agencies, and for a change in the governance of the country with a view to a better future for themselves and the coming generations.
“They were very peaceful, highly organized and disciplined, and their rhetoric was forceful, but articulate and patriotic.
“Unfortunately, apparently well organised hoodlums and miscreants distorted the orderly protests leading to the destruction of public and private buildings and assets in various parts of the country which we strongly condemn.
“Unfortunately, also, the subsequent and unprovoked shooting of the innocent protesting youths by the Nigerian soldiers has done incalculable harm to the already very fragile fabric of the nation, bringing us to a tipping point once again, and earning disrepute in the eyes of the world.”
The monarchs, who endorsed the “proactive actions” taken by the state governor, Chief Willie Obiano and some other state governors, in reaching out directly to the youths, appealed to the youths and the security agencies to “cease further escalation in violence and inflammatory expressions so as to create the enabling environment for the national quest for peace, reconciliation and mutual understanding.”