A member of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Yusuf, has called on the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), to tender a “national apology” for saying that hoodlums dressed in military attire were responsible for the shooting of #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos State.
Yusuf, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party from Kogi State, made the call in a statement issued on Tuesday.
Soldiers had shot at #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki toll plaza on October 20.
Malami had reportedly told journalists that hoodlums were possibly involved in the shootings.
“You cannot rule out the possibility of perhaps hoodlums that set in to create a scene…could equally partake in the process,” Malami was quoted as saying.
Yusuf stated that while there are lessons to learn by both the protesters and the government, Malami’s alleged statement that hoodlum in military apparel shot at protesters deserves to be followed with a national apology.
In the statement titled, ‘Lekki shooting: Apologise for Your Inappropriate Comment Rep. Tells Malami…asks FG to Reverse Misstep Against Protest Leaders,’ Yusuf described as condemnable, the circumstances surrounding the withdrawal of two youth members of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and their subsequent resumption of sitting during the weekend.
Yusuf advised the Federal Government to reverse its “missteps” of freezing bank accounts and seizing passports of Nigerian youths considered to have actively taken part in the nationwide protest against policy brutality.
The statement partly read, “It is thoroughly confounding that in spite of the Federal Government’s promise to look into the demands of the protesters, government went to great lengths with actions and words that aroused real doubts over its sincerity. The Federal Government asked them to calm down and they did so, only for the Federal Government to embark upon series of arrests, passport seizure and freezing of bank accounts of the #EndSARS protesters.
“While right-thinking citizens feel concerned about the real possibilities of driving the democratic expression of dissenting opinions into the threatening catacombs of underground activities, the Federal Government must advice itself against further deliberate missteps. It is absolutely pathetic that a government that promised progressive ideals has consistently shown a tendency to find comfort in dictatorial fiat and jackboot oppression of its people.”
While noting that the Federal Government’s Presidential Panel on Police Reforms acceded to the five demands made by the protesters, Yusuf stressed the need for the government to foster a sense of belonging and social justice rather than “decisions that further portray Nigeria in negative light internationally.”