168 views | Akanimo Sampson | October 22, 2020
The raging EndSARS protest is taking a turn for the worse with scores of star musicians and comedians, alleging threats to their lives for participating in the uprising.
Debo Adebayo, popularly called Mr Macaroni, says his life has been threatened severally following his participation in the protest.
While the comedian disclosed this on his Twitter handle, the United Nations has condemned the attack on unarmed protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate by the security forces on Tuesday night.
UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, in a statement on Wednesday says the global body “was closely following recent developments across Nigeria.”
While calling for investigations into the killings to hold the perpetrators accountable. Guterres urged security agencies “to act at all times with maximum restraint. He further advised the Buhari administration to swiftly explore avenues to de-escalate the situation.
The UN scribe reiterates the readiness of the Organisation to support national efforts towards finding a solution, and also expressed his condolences to the families of the bereaved and wished speedy recovery to those injured
Already, 35 federal legislators are asking President Muhammadu Buhari to identify and prosecute all soldiers that shot at EndSARS protesters at the Lekki tollgate on Tuesday night.
They are members of the Senate and House of Representatives. In a statement condemning the unwarranted assault, the legislators are demanding justice and accountability.
While the Senators are Olu Adetunmbi, Opeyemi Bamidele, Tolu Odebiyi and Surajudeen Ajibola Basiru, the Reps include: Julius Ihonvbere, Rimamnde Shawulu Kwewum, Francis Waive, Peter Akpatason, Umeoji Chukwuma, Kingsley Chinda, Abubakar Hassan Nalaraba, Francis Ottah Agbo, Unyime Idem, Omowumi Olubunmi Ogunlola, Ibrahim Kunle Olarewaju, Segius Ogun, Preye Oseke, Ibrahim Obanikoro, Bamidele Salam, Dennis Idahosa, and Nnolim Nnaji.
Benjamin Mzondu, Timehin Adelegbe, Taiwo Oluga, Ben Kalu, Amos Magaji, Olododo Cook Abdulganiyu Saka, Igariwey Iduma Enwo, Olubukola Oyewo, Tolulope Akande-Sadipe Oluyole,
Uzoma Nkem Abonta, Satomi Alhaji Ahmed, Wole Oke, Miriam Onuoha and Ifeanyi Chudy Momah.
The lawmakers said they are committed to setting agenda for progressive laws in Nigeria; initiating progressive laws and speaking against anti-people bills in the National Assembly.
According to them, ‘’we have followed carefully the ENDSARS protest by young people across Nigeria for the past two weeks and the killings in several cities including Jos, Kaduna, Abuja, Benin and Lagos.”
“We note that in the recent past, this has been the most elaborate protest that has united young Nigerians across geography, ethnic nationality and religion. We observe that the protest goes beyond the excesses of the police formation called Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The protests are as a result of frustration by Nigerian youths who have seen government at all level fail to provide public goods and opportunities for them to lead a meaningful life.
“We recognise that over the years, socio-economic indicators in Nigeria have remained precarious. The Fragile state’s index has consistently classified Nigeria among the 15 worst states that are failing across the world. We are appalled by the reliance on force, intimidation and manipulation by government and security agencies in an attempt to break the protest rather than utilising globally recognised methods of policing in a democratic society.
“We are enraged by reports of shooting of unarmed, defenceless protesters by military officers at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos after the lights were turned off and CCTV cameras put off. We call on the President to give an immediate order to all security agencies to stop shooting at protesters.
‘’We call on the President to address the nation and take concrete actions to respond to the demand of the protesters. He should commit in words and action to respect and protect the right to protest. He should publicly invite the leaders of the protesters to an urgent dialogue while assuring them of their safety and that outcomes would be expeditiously implemented.
“We also condemn the attack and burning of properties of innocent citizens and government. We call on government to respond expeditiously to demand of the protesters and other lingering issues of addressing the security architecture of the country and addressing revelations of corruption in many government agencies. As patriots, we will not keep quiet while the country is plunged into crisis under any guise. A stitch in time saves nine.”
In the meantime, Mr Macaroni says, “since the very first day I stepped out into the streets up till yesterday even before leaving Alausa, I have been threatened severally. I don’t tweet about them because it is normal in protests. I am safe presently but I am being threatened!! No be fear!! Na Awareness!!!!”
The comedian also urged other EndSARS protesters to try and stay safe since, pointing out, ‘’for now, the only option we have is to stay safe!! The government has shown that they will stop at nothing to intimidate, silence, threaten and kill us!!! The same government that should be protecting us is killing us!!!”
Singers, Chinedu Okoli and Chibuzor Azubuike popularly known as Flavour and Phyno, have equally accused the government of Enugu State of threatening their lives over their involvement in the ongoing EndSARS protest.
They led the protest against the operatives of SARS on Saturday in Enugu. The protest turned sour after a heated exchange started between the singers and the governor of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, as he addressed protesters at the government house.
They alleged that the governor employed thugs to scuttle the protest saying that he did not address the issues raised by the protesters before he walked away from them.
“Enugu! Today our lives were threatened and we are making it clear that if anything happens to any single one of us or any protestors, let it be known that it was done by the Enugu state government! @phynofino, @ZoroSwagbag, @iam_kcee, @masterkraft.
“Our peaceful protest in Enugu from Ogbete Market to the Enugu state government house was going well until we reached the government house. Along the way, we noticed a group of thugs joined the protests.
“The governor came out but refused to speak up and address the protestors, instead he addressed the thugs. The thugs tried to fight us but we maintained peace because we recognised their plan.
“We made sure the youth remained calm yet the governor refused to answer our questions! Instead, he walked out on us, unapologetically, with the thugs following him. We made it clear that we knew the people he was pretending to address were paid thugs”, the singers said.