The Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) has, in strong term, condemned the killing of innocent and unarmed protesters in Lekki, warning those miscreants that engaged in looting and destruction of public properties not to turn the Southwest region to war theatres.
The OPC in a statement by the Publicity Secretary, Barrister Yinka Oguntimehin, expressed concern on the situation leading to the death of some of the defenceless protesters in Lekki, arguing that the killing was barbaric and an attempt to cow the people from expressing their views against the government.
Oguntimehin also condemned the activities of some hoodlums that had used the peaceful protest to destroy public utility and properties.
” It was obvious that some enemies of the people of Southwest have decided to use the peaceful protests to unleash terror in the region. How could a peaceful protest turned bloody overnight? Those behind the killing in Lekki decided to unleash terror on innocent and unarmed youths by shutting down the Close Circuit Camera and putting out the billboard light at the toll-gate before embarking on their shooting spree, leaving in the wake, several people killed while others were at the hospitals with various degrees of injuries. This is barbaric and very dangerous”
“We have never had it so bad like this in this Country,except during the military government of the late Sanni Abacha that Nigeria was thrown into this kind of terror and killing.
The OPC chieftain, however, urged the United Nations and International communities to put pressure on the Federal Government to investigate those behind the killing and brought them to book.
“Those that were killed in the course of this peaceful protest still remained our heroes even in death. However, it is sad that the Federal Government had failed to act on the legitimate demands of the protesters, making the issue to escalate from peaceful protests to looting, arson and killings.
“From the reports available, it is obvious that those that engaged in looting and destruction of public protesters have sinister motives that are capable of soiling the image of genuine protesters. But it must be said once again that the Federal Government must desist from making an attempt to test the will of the people that have resolved to put their lives on the line for a better change and such attempt will be too bad for a government that rode to power on the trust of the people, especially from the southwest”.
While commiserating with the families of the fallen heroes, Oguntimehin saluted the courage of the Nigerian youths for raising their voices against police brutality resulting from bad governance.
“We need to appreciate the courage and consistency of Nigerian youths who have demonstrated the need for complete reform of the ailing system. It is historic that the youths have risen to the occasion by raising their voices against bad government using the prolonged protests to put the government on its toes”
“For instance, the Aareonakakanfo of Yorubaland,Iba Gani Abiodun Ige Adams, had spoken twice within a week, urging the protesters to be peaceful and also advising the Federal Government not to use the army to quell the protesters.
“He had in a letter written to President Buhari earlier this week, also urged the Federal Government not to use force to quell the protesters as that could turned out to be disastrous, but the Federal Government had decided to ignore to warning, leaving the entire country to wonder whether the president is still in charge or not” he said.