Former Nigerian Ambassador to Singapore, Mrs Nonye Rajis-Okpara has called on the Federal Government to respect the fundamental rights of the citizens to protest peacefully and uphold the international best practice of human rights and democracy.
Rajis-Okpara, who spoke against the backdrop of the loss of lives and property during the EndSARS protests across the country said it is sacrilegious for the army or anyone to shoot at unarmed l protesters.
“I plead with government to follow the rules of human rights and the international protocol of protecting our beloved nation in a democratic way. Our youths have a right to a peaceful protest and they have done that so well. We will forever be very proud of them. We must promote, peace, democracy, justice and equity. Nigeria was built on love, peace, unity and justice for all and must be governed based on these fundamental principles for peace and progress to reign. It is a sacrilege for the army or anyone to shoot at unarmed youths or peaceful protesters. This doesn’t fall under their role of engagement, it must be stopped,” she said in a statement yesterday.
She called for synergy between the army, police and citizens and noted that youths have a say in the governance of the country.
“There should be harmony between army, police and the communities/people that they are created to protect. Let us as a nation promote human/civil right, and protect the dignity of human lives in our nation. As a Nigerian and a concerned mother, my heart bleeds, as I watch the killings of innocent lives and destruction of properties. Our Youths have made their point and they mustn’t be killed for airing their views because they are stakeholders. They have a say in the matter and in the way they want to be governed”, she added.