Governor Simon Lalong, of Plateau state, in his capacity as Chairman of Northern Governors’ Forum , further deepened the row over soldiers’ shooting of unarmed peaceful protesters at Lekki, Lagos, who were demanding scrapping of the murderous Special Anti-Robbery Squad, notorious as SARS. In what was obviously the latest in the desperation to whitewash the tragedy, Lalong accused the protesters of pursuing regime change, which instantly portrayed them as engaging in rebellion againstthe state. Lalong got it wrong, as will be revealed later below.
If there was any doubt on the mission of soldiers at a peaceful protest gathering of well educated young ones at Lekki, Lagos, such doubt was removed by the stand of Northern Nigeria on the tragedy as read out by Lalong in their communique after their meeting in Kaduna. Inherent in the communique are traces of overlordship, intimidation and total lack of concern for the bereaved families
Where is the starting point? Lalong himself? Not long after being elected for the second term, the Plateau state governor woke one morning only to be briefed on the news of another massacre of his people overnight by ever unknown armed men, a common occurrence in the state. Lalong lost his cool and vowed to henceforth speak his mind critically because, as he put it, he no longer needed anybody’s assistance. What subversion did the people of Plateau state commit to deserve regular massacre everytime?
Governor Lalong described the Lekki protesters as subversive elements. The same protesters both President Muhammadu Buhari and Police Inspector General Adamu conceded as legitimate? The reality of soldiers’ crime against humanity at Lekki could only be lost on the unwary or the callous. In other words, if only surreptitiously, the army has sneaked on the country the legitimacy of murder as instrument of crushing protests in Nigeria.
And yet, such crime is justified on the ground of crushing subversion.. Throughout, the protesters at Lekki were peaceful and unarmed. Biafran agitators/protesters were shot on different occasions at Enugu, Onitsha and Port Harcourt while the tragedy were covered up by police which intimidated the survivors by arraigning them at Port Harcourt for alleged treason. When did it become treasonable to agitate for political causes?
Shite protesters along Kadun-Zaria road were shot by soldiers for allegedly obstructing the convoy of an army officer. How many were killed? Tens? Scores? Hundreds? We are a nation of nobody cares as the deceased were secretly buried in mass graves. In the matter of crimes against humanity, there is no discrimination in age, religion or ethnicity..
The stand off at Lekki, Lagos was therefore another major occasion where unarmed fellow Nigerians were unlawfully shot by the army, a sad event, which, after an initial shameful denial, was eventually confirmed by the army to be at the invitation of Lagos state government. It is unfortunate that the north did not see tragedy for what it was.
You want to share a story with us? You want to advertise? You need publicity for a product, service, or event? Contact us on WhatsApp – +234 803 3018 881