Mr Mautin Akin Olukunle
Candidate of the National Rescue Movement (NRM) in the forthcoming bye-elections in Lagos East Senatorial District, Mr Mautin Akin Olukunle, has strongly condemned the unwarranted attack of innocent, peaceful and unarmed protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos and some other parts of the country by armed uniformed men suspected to be state agents.
In a statement signed by the Director, Mautin Akin Olukunle Campaign Organization, Ololade Ladigbolu, Olukunle called on all aggrieved youths and security agencies to sheathe their sword following the Tuesday violent crackdown on protesters in Lagos.
The statement noted that “It is absurd and unreasonable on the part of any responsible authority vested with the management of the toll gate to feign ignorance of actions preceding the unwarranted shooting”.
It chronicled some of the actions preceding the shooting by the trigger happy soldiers as, “the removal of the Closed Circuit Television Monitor, CCTV, and premeditated power outage of floodlight adorning the gate few hours before the commencement of the curfew earlier announced by the Lagos State Government. The attack on the peaceful protesters was unjustifiable.”
Deploring the use of deadly force, the NRM Candidate argued that security operatives had the options of reasonable crowd control methods but clearly refused to apply them, leading to the needless and tragic loss of innocent young lives.
He added, “It is also unfortunate that those that ordered the shooting and the governments at the federal and state levels in the enforcement of law and order had the option of applying some reasonable, non-lethal force, such as water cannons, tear gas and so many related but non-lethal, tested methods than the resort to gunning down innocent citizens in an extra-judicial manner”.
The statement further said, “It will be very ridiculous if at the end of the day, upon whatever inquiry into the Lekki killings, the concerned authorities should claim innocence or ignorance of who ordered the dastardly military operation at the Lekki toll gate”.
“To us, the wanton murder of peaceful protesters, who have been conducting themselves in an organized and decent manner for about 12 days at the Lekki expressway axis, is unacceptable and condemnable in our democracy. We wonder what happened to the government’s position on rule of engagement of the military not to resort to the shooting of the people in crisis situations, particularly where their demonstration remained non-violent.”
He expressed his sincere condolences to the bereaved families and prayed for the repose of souls of the departed and speedy recovery of all the injured persons in the attacks across the country.
The former General Manager, Public Affairs of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, further condemned the hijack of the #EndSARS peaceful protest by miscreants in Lagos and some other parts of the country as well as the attendant mass destruction of lives, public and private properties by the hoodlums.
Olukunle enjoined all aggrieved youth not to take the law into their hands but collaborate with governments at all levels and the security operatives towards finding a lasting solution to all their demands and grievances bordering on police brutality and good governance.
He further enjoined the Federal and State Governments, particularly the Babajide Sanwoolu’s administration, to expedite action on a judicial inquiry which will get to the root of the Tuesday shooting and identify the perpetrators.
“We plead with governments at all levels to promptly accede, not only to the germane issues raised by the protesting youths but the yearnings of the Nigerian masses, who have been at the receiving end of obnoxious and harsh policies of successive governments in the country in the recent past,” the statement added.